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Wed Dec 5, 2012, 07:16 AM

Could THIS be why Fox "News" viewers are so gullible?

Study finds elders more trusting as they age
(ReadingEagle.com, December 5, 2012)

Despite long experience with the ways of the world, older people are especially vulnerable to fraud.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, up to 80 percent of scam victims are over 65.

One explanation may lie in a brain region that serves as a built-in crook detector. Called the anterior insula, the structure, which fires up in response to the face of an unsavory character, is less active in older people, possibly making them less cagey than younger folks, a new study finds.

Both FTC and the FBI have found that older people are easy marks due in part to their tendency to accentuate the positive.


With an average age of 65+, Fox "News" viewers are older than those of any other cable network. Their viewers also seem willing to believe anything they are told on that channel, no matter how illogical or untrue. This article goes a long way toward explaining why these people can't just SEE that Sean Hannity is a lying asshat. Their "crook detectors" don't work!

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Response to mwb970 (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 07:34 AM

1. Oh gosh - I am over 65 and find that I trust people much LESS as I have gotten older.

I am over 65 and cannot imagine taking anything or anyone at face value.
Same for a lot of my contemporaries.
We know we are targets for scammers, political and otherwise.
In fact - I distrust this new "explanation" - it divides people up by age, as if we have all had the same experiences.
My sister hates the GOP and Faux.
Her husband - hangs on Limbaugh's every gaseous belch.
They vote according to their beliefs.
Both over 65. All of us live in Florida.
So I don't think we have a convenient, sort of condescending answer here.

I think the reason for the "up to 80 percent" thing is that seniors are just targeted more than any other age group; there are just more opportunities to scam.
Feh.

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Response to djean111 (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 08:09 AM

6. I agree, it's just that older people are targeted more by scams.

I don't think age has anything to do with it. It's the sort of person you are, if you are learning from your experiences or ignoring them, if you continue to learn about the world. The failure to do so affects the young and old alike, sadly.

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Response to mwb970 (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 07:41 AM

2. I guess I'm a Contrary.

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Response to mwb970 (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 07:48 AM

3. It doesn't explain their large under-65 audience.

I think the real culprit is that these people refuse to use what, if any, critical thinking skills they have. Why should they? What they hear on Fox just "proves" whatever prejudices and fears they have. Fox tells them what they want to hear.

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Response to mwb970 (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 07:50 AM

4. Net yet 65, but close and skeptical. Oh, and plus one for "... Limbaugh's every gaseous belch."

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Response to mwb970 (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 07:52 AM

5. It certainly describes my elderly mother and my in-laws

My mom was a sucker for every fake scheme that came her way. I spent countless hours writing letters to all the "contest" and "free offer" charlatans, telling them I was sending their mail to the authorities, and they should leave her alone.

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Response to mwb970 (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 10:19 AM

7. I think it is all to do with prejudice.

 

I think there is a propensity for older folk to be gullible. They are more likely to be taken in by a salesman who flatters them. They are more likely to pay too much money for a product they really don't need just because they like the way the salesman gives them attention. In a way, Fox News does that. Fox makes its most ardent viewers feel good about themselves by re-affirming their fears and prejudices, and older people are more likely to hold some "old-fashioned views" of the world.

Fox News and the right-wing radio shock jocks are reassuring to these people, as in a world that is changing in a way they don't like, there is somewhere that expresses their grudges and defends the way that things should be. Everyone else wants to dismantle the world as they know it - gays, blacks, Muslims, socialists, but in Bill O'Reilly or Rush Limbaugh, they feel they have found somebody who is as good as a friend who says - "you are right, these are things to fear."

They are insecure in their opinions, as they come from a non-factual, emotional place and cannot be easily verbalized without fear of judgement from outside their bubble. They feel they are at risk of attack from the outside world, and so those they know who hold their views are easily trusted.

All other opinions are dismissed as "liberal bias," "lamestream media," or "dangerous to America" - this satisfies the audience who have a need to be told: "you are right to hold these prejudices," and "you have found a true home here with people who share your values." However, drawing in that captive audience is a confidence trick, because once they are there they can be fed lie after lie, as long as they are neatly packaged in the context of those prejudices - global warming is a prime example.

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Response to Democratopia (Reply #7)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 02:00 PM

8. Here is some more prejudice - referring to older people as "they" and then drawing conclusions

based on that.
I am over 65, and I am most certainly not likely to do any of the things you mention.

I don't know how many damn times I read that since I am over 65 and live in Florida, I would be voting for Romney.
I snickered at the ignorance, and hoped the GOP was stupid enough to believe it.

Truth is that older people are more targeted by scammers.
There is no "they"; we are all shaped by experience and intellect and environment, and that most certainly differs from person to person at any age.

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Response to djean111 (Reply #8)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 02:19 PM

9. I qualified my comment by saying "greater propensity" or "more likely."

 

I certainly was not saying ALL older people were gullible.

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