Explicit warnings reduce but do not eliminate the continued influence of misinformation

Ullrich K. H. Ecker*, Stephan Lewandowsky, David T. W. Tang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

140 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Information that initially is presumed to be correct, but that is later retracted or corrected, often continues to influence memory and reasoning. This occurs even if the retraction itself is well remembered. The present study investigated whether the continued influence of misinformation can be reduced by explicitly warning people at the outset that they may be misled. A specific warning-giving detailed information about the continued influence effect (CIE)-succeeded in reducing the continued reliance on outdated information but did not eliminate it. A more general warning-reminding people that facts are not always properly checked before information is disseminated-was even less effective. In an additional experiment, a specific warning was combined with the provision of a plausible alternative explanation for the retracted information. This combined manipulation further reduced the CIE but still failed to eliminate it altogether.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1087-1100
Number of pages14
JournalMemory and Cognition
Volume38
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

Structured keywords

  • Cognitive Science

Keywords

  • CREATING FALSE MEMORIES
  • EYEWITNESS SUGGESTIBILITY
  • MISLEADING INFORMATION
  • POSTEVENT INFORMATION
  • REMEMBERING WORDS
  • RECOGNITION
  • IMPAIRMENT
  • TESTIMONY
  • PARADIGM
  • RECALL

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