Abstract: This study aims to analyze the relationship between political affiliation and vulnerability to disinformation in North Macedonia through the role of psychological and social constraints in shaping how individuals respond to and process information. Research has shown that politically affiliated individuals may be particularly vulnerable to disinformation in part due to confirmation bias or the tendency to accept and seek out information that is consistent with one’s preexisting beliefs and ignore or refute information that is not. Using the quantitative method and cross-matched data from the empirical research, the study has shown that political affiliation affects the way individuals perceive disinformation. Correspondingly, disinformation with a negative connotation from one’s affiliated political party is perceived by a lower percentage as accurate, contrary to disinformation with a negative connotation from the opposing political party, which is perceived by a higher percentage as accurate. The study also found that politically affiliated individuals are more prone to disinformation than those who are not politically affiliated. The results suggest that political affiliation plays a significant role in an individual’s vulnerability to disinformation.
Keywords: confirmation bias; disinformation; North Macedonia; political affiliation; vulnerability