It is that time of year again, when we all scan the papers with an eye of extra scepticism. Safe in the knowledge we can’t ever be caught out by an April Fools joke. And it seems to be paying off. We are becoming less gullible according to research out this week.
Findings from Israel’s Institute of Human Psychology and BioScience show the number of people deceived by 1 April spoofs hit a peak in 1976 and has been in steady decline ever since. “I think it unlikely that this tide will turn,” said Professor Moshe Mayim the institute’s chief clinical director. “I think cynicism with politicians and big business has made people less trusting. This is a shame”. He said the growth of mass media has also made a difference. "In the 70’s we all relied on one or two news broadcasts a day and the morning paper, but now we have all sorts of multimedia options.”
He denied accusations that launching the findings of “The Growth of Human Cynicism in modern Israeli Society” this week was itself manipulative and hollow media stunt.