Terrorists brought down the plane! - No, actually it was a technical fault: Processing corrections of emotive information

Ullrich K. H. Ecker*, Stephan Lewandowsky, Joe Apai

*Corresponding author for this work

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

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It is well known that people often continue to rely on initial misinformation even if this information is later corrected and even if the correction itself is remembered. This article investigated the impact of emotionality of the material on people's ability to discount corrected misinformation. The focus was on moderate levels of emotionality comparable to those elicited by real-world news reports. Emotionality has frequently been shown to have an impact upon reasoning and memory, but the generality of this influence remains unclear. In three experiments, participants read a report of a fictitious plane crash that was initially associated with either an emotionally laden cause (terrorist attack) or an emotionally more neutral cause (bad weather). This initial attribution was followed by a retraction and presentation of an alternative cause (faulty fuel tank). The scenarios demonstrably affected participants' self-reported feelings. However, all three experiments showed that emotionality does not affect the continued influence of misinformation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number925290666
Pages (from-to)283-310
Number of pages28
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Volume64
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Structured keywords

  • Memory

Keywords

  • Continued influence of misinformation
  • Memory
  • Emotionality
  • REMEMBERING EMOTIONAL EVENTS
  • FLASHBULB MEMORIES
  • NULL-HYPOTHESIS
  • WORKING-MEMORY
  • AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMORIES
  • CONTEXTUAL INFORMATION
  • CONTINUED INFLUENCE
  • AGE-DIFFERENCES
  • FALSE MEMORIES
  • MEDIA COVERAGE

Cite this