The post-truth is in fashion. This term is used all the time without our understanding its meaning. We are nevertheless here to explain what it is.Post-truth is defined as a deliberate distortion of reality.In other words, the post-truth is the manipulation of beliefs and emotions in order to influence public opinion and the attitude of individuals.
Post-truth refers to the emotional use, to release the emotions of individuals to change their thoughtswhile concealing the facts, what is really happening. The domain policy area is one where the post-truth has the most used. Hence the emergence of certain terms such as populist speeches orfake news who resort to the post-truth. We will explain below these terms and the psychological keys that will help us understand them.
Using the post-truth
Thepost-very is based on discourses and writings that try to move us to manipulate or distort the reality we perceive. That's why many politicians use it to get the support of the people. One of the most used resources is populist speech. These are speeches shaking the masses by promising the impossible. Promising politics "people for the people" and simple solutions to all problems.
The rise of social networks and the Internet has also allowedfakes news to gain importance.Thefakes newsare false news, also called "bobards". They are usually used deliberately to mislead.We are bombarded daily with so much information. We call this infoxication. It is very difficult to certify whether these are true or not. We end up believing in false news and considering it as true.
The attractiveness of the post-truth
Why is the post-truth so attractive? Why do these speeches and news convince us?The reason why the post-truth is attractive is mainly in the narrative. Both speech and news share several characteristics that increase their appeal. Some of these features are simplicity and consistency. They broadcast very simple explanations that we can understand. They are otherwise consistent.
Posterity is based on dichotomies. "Everything is black or white", "If you are not with the good guys, you are with the bad guys". The post-truth promises a future full of hope. These characteristics will make the post-truth appealing, especially for some people. More specifically, for people who feel confused, disoriented and unsafe.These characteristicspersonal istics will generate in these people more need for cognitive closure. In addition, these people usually feel threatened, humiliated or insignificant. So they also have an intense motivation to look for importance.
Psychological keys to understand the post-truth
We have seen that there are two psychological factors making us more prone to post-truth or post-truth narrative. This is a high need for closure and a strong motivation to look for importance.These two factors describe the mentality of the "losers of globalization" who feel abandoned in a rapidly changing world and where they can not find their place.
People with these characteristics are disoriented and confused. Their way of doing things does not work anymore. Technology has rendered their skills obsolete and their use has been removed. They feel humiliated and undervalued. They passionately embrace post-truth stories in their desperation as they dispel their uncertainties and promise to make them important again. These people will therefore very easily accept the promises to put an end to all their problems and offer them certainty and hope.
In addition, while the use of the Internet has increased the use offakes newshe has also given us resources to recognize them. There are specialized pages where we discover these false news (for example: stop fake). Guides to know how to distinguish a false news from a real one, too. Some of these tips are: look who the author is (a lot of false news does not specify the author), check that the same news appear in different media and observe if there is a clear ideology or, conversely, if the new presents different points of view. Finally,it is necessary to develop critical thinkingto prevent the post-truth from deceiving us.