The Misinformation Effect

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The Misinformation Effect: A Fact Sheet The misinformation effect (ME) can be defined as the change in people’s memories of an incident, after they are presented with false or misleading information about that incident (Gordon & Shapiro, 2012). For example, after watching a video of a woman shopping for green vegetables at a supermarket, it is easy to remember those vegetables. However, once misleading information such as, two other green vegetables are added to the original a list of vegetables, it is easy for people to remember the list together with the addition vegetables. This proves that people falsely remember these items only because they were suggested to them. According to Lyle and Johnson (2007) and several other studies, source …show more content…
Twenty-four younger and twenty-four older adults from university viewed either a slideshow of theft in an office or shoplifting in a bookstore, and then according to their viewed event, they were given three narrative descriptions which were both neutral and misinformation. Then the participants completed a final yes-no recognition test or a final source-monitoring test. Roediger and Geraci’s (2007) results showed that older adults have greater susceptibility to misinformation and to both tests, compared to younger adults. However, older adults demonstrated significantly less errors on the source-monitoring test than on the yes-no recognition test. Thus, this suggests that they are more susceptible to the yes-no recognition test because of source-monitoring problems. Overall, these articles have many individual differences that are highly susceptible to the ME. However, they also have several limitations which can only be amended with further research.
Factors that Affect the Misinformation
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In English and Nielson’s (2010) study, participants watched four short videos, then took a memory test for each video. Some of these tests contained misinformation. After, the participants watched another video, which contained either neutral or arousing information. One week after this experiment, those who viewed the arousing video remembered more accurate details and were less affected by the misinformation, compared to those who viewed the neutral video. These results indicate that even seven days after learning, inducing arousal allowed for better and more accurate retrievals, and significantly reduced the risk of the ME. However, the main limitation in English and Nielson’s (2010) study was that a specific negative stimulus was used only after the misinformation. Therefore, it was impossible for participants’ attention to be influenced by this

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