If so, the benefits of initial testing may increase in situations where misinformation is not encountered immediately following an event. Critically, the effect of initial testing on contagion recall interacted with delay, F(2, 210) = 6.44, MSE = 0.08, ηp2 = 0.06. Embedded within these tests were non‐presented ‘contagion items’ that were schematically consistent with a given scene. This is the third in our series on the psychology of misinformation. Completing an initial test may increase participants' reporting of misinformation from a source they deem to be reliable and trustworthy. Within each delay condition, participants were randomly assigned to the zero, one, or two initial test conditions.  More research is needed to understand what techniques can cultivate emotional skepticism, and how this can slow down the sharing of misinformation. First, in the immediate test condition, contagion items were marginally more likely to be attributed to the scenes after two (versus one) initial tests. Effect sizes for significant comparisons were calculated using partial eta squared (ηp2) for analyses of variance (ANOVAs), and Cohen's d for t‐tests. Pausing to consider why a headline is true or false can help reduce the sharing of false news, Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review, “Neutralizing misinformation through inoculation: Exposing misleading argumentation techniques reduces their influence”, by John Cook, Stephan Lewandowsky, and Ullrich K.H. The two most frequently listed items for each scene (i.e., high‐expectancy items) served as the contagion items (nails/screwdriver, soap/toothbrush, knives/plates, lamp/pillow, jacket/shoes, and paper/pens) and thus were not presented in the scene images we constructed. (Cook, 2019). Taking two initial tests did not increase these protective effects. The concept emerged from behavioral science and in particular the 2008 book “Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness.”. There was again an effect of contagion exposure, F(2, 420) = 23.40, MSE = 0.05, ηp2 = 0.10. A p < .05 significance level was used except as noted. Learn more. The misinformation effect refers to the finding that exposure to misleading information presented between the encoding of an event and its subsequent recall causes impairment in memory. We explored whether protective effects of initial testing could be obtained on final free recall and source‐monitoring tests. (2013): Initial testing made participants less likely to falsely attribute contagion items to the study scenes. Determining whether initial testing will have protective (versus harmful) effects on memory has important practical implications for interviewing eyewitnesses. The zero‐test group performed this filler task for 12 additional minutes, whereas the one‐test and two‐test groups completed a free recall test for each scene. Protecting against misleading post‐event information with a self‐administered interview. In traditional misinformation experiments (and in all studies reporting the RES pattern), misinformation is presented via experimenter‐prepared materials such as detailed summaries to which eyewitnesses are unlikely to be exposed. Accordingly, we propose that the presence of a message which emphasizes the negative effects of health misinformation dissemination and/or the accountability for health misinformation dissemination will reduce users' dissemination of the misinformation. An important area for future research will be to determine when initial testing is likely to have protective (PET) versus harmful (RES) effects on memory. Thus, if initial testing protects memory from misinformation by increasing correct memory, then increasing the number of initial tests should reduce misinformation effects by further increasing correct memory. Ecker, Stephan Lewandowsky, and David T.W. To evaluate this factor, our participants either completed their final memory tests in an immediate condition or a 2‐day‐delay condition. Huff et al., 2013). Finally, correct attributions for scene items (see Table 4, Total correct rows) were also analyzed as earlier. To help delineate the conditions that yield a PET pattern, we used two manipulations that have increased the beneficial effects of testing on correct memory in other paradigms. Immediately or after a 48‐hour delay, non‐presented items (e.g., soap and toothbrush) were exposed zero, one, or four times through a social contagion manipulation in which participants reviewed sets of recall tests ostensibly provided by other participants. Initial testing did not affect reporting of the contagion items on a final free recall test. Moreover, the PET pattern on delayed recall, and on source monitoring at both retention intervals, was similar whether contagion items were suggested one or four times. So to reduce the effects of false information, people should try to reduce its visibility Despite emotion being a strong driver of shares on social media, and therefore a powerful driver in disinformation campaigns, it is often overlooked in media literacy campaigns. What to read next: “Reliance on emotion promotes belief in fake news” by Cameron Martel, George Pennycook, and David G. Rand, (preprint) in 2019. In the third part of this series on the psychology of misinformation, we cover the psychological concepts that are relevant to the prevention of misinformation. Both subjects sat in front of the same screen, but because they wore differently polarized glasses, they saw two different versions of a video, projected onto a screen. To reduce the exposure of people to misinformation online, fact-checkers manually verify the veracity of claims made in content shared online. Consistent with this possibility, ‘neither’ attributions for scene items were greater in both the one‐test (0.21) and two‐test groups (0.22) than the zero‐test group (0.16), t(142) = 2.37, SEM = 0.01, and t(142) = 3.02, SEM = 0.01 (Table 4). Here, we show that providing individuals with a simple warning about the threat of misinformation significantly reduces the misinformation effect, regardless of whether warnings are provided proactively (before exposure to misinformation) or retroactively (after exposure to misinformation). Participants classified their memory for each item as scene (item was in the original scene), other (item was on the other participants' recall tests), both (item was in the original scene and on the other participants' recall tests), or neither. Like a vaccine, it works by exposing people to examples of misinformation, or misinformation techniques, to help them recognize and reject them in the future. Yet little research has been undertaken on techniques that could protect eyewitnesses from the influence of misinformation, despite the dangerous consequences of distorted testimony. Contagion items were provided from the four remaining writers. In contrast, taking two initial tests did not increase the PET pattern on either memory test beyond the benefits obtained from taking one initial test. This pattern was found regardless of whether exposure to contagion items occurred immediately after initial testing or was delayed 48 hours. The full text of this article hosted at iucr.org is unavailable due to technical difficulties. found that nudging people to think about accuracy before sharing misinformation significantly improves people’s discernment of whether it is true. Read the first, “The psychology of misinformation: Why we’re vulnerable”, and the second, “The psychology of misinformation: Why it’s so hard to correct”. The “continued influence effect” of misinformation is not limited to jurors. What to read next: “Neutralizing misinformation through inoculation: Exposing misleading argumentation techniques reduces their influence” by John Cook, Stephan Lewandowsky, and Ullrich K.H. In particular, we sought to determine whether a PET pattern could be obtained in free recall (cf. Each of six sheets listed the scene name at the top, and participants had 2 minutes to recall its objects. Following study of the scenes, participants completed an arithmetic filler task for 2 minutes. Learn about our remote access options, Department of Psychology, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, USA. One step in this direction is to look at misled and control performances separately: Principally, keeping in mind that the misinformation effect is defined as the difference between memory performance in the misled and control conditions of a misinformation design, post-warnings can reduce the misinformation effect by either improving misled performance (relative to a no-warning condition) … How can you use WhatsApp in your reporting, and what practical and ethical issues should you consider? Thus, taking either one or two initial tests yielded a robust PET pattern on recall—the first time a PET has been reported on this memory test. Some studies have shown, for example, that the misinformation effect can be reduced by quizzing participants on what they’ve learned prior to their exposure to the misinformation. Participants were instructed to ‘write down as many items as you can remember from the scene listed at the top of page’. The misinformation effect has been modeled in the laboratory. False recall of contagion items (Table 2) was calculated as the number of contagion items reported in a given scene divided by two and was scored as for correct recall. By providing an alternative explanation, corporate communications can persuade people to revise their beliefs and reject falsehoods they read or heard. Surprising then, is a set of demonstrations beginning with Chan, Thomas, and Bulevich (2009), in which initial testing increased suggestibility—a phenomenon dubbed retrieval‐enhanced suggestibility (RES). Prebunking interventions reduce susceptibility to misinformation across cultures 2 We find significant and meaningful reductions in the perceived reliability of manipulative content across all languages, indicating that participants’ ability to spot misinformation significantly improved. Exposure to misleading information can distort memory for past events (misinformation effect). You know you did your best to gain as much information as possible. That means that social media companies should consider removing false information completely, rather than just attaching a warning label. Enter your email address below and we will send you your username, If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username, Sample household scene (soap and toothbrush were the non‐presented contagion items), Proportion of contagion effect source misattributions (‘Scene’ and ‘Scene and other’ attributions) for contagion items for initial test and immediate and delayed test groups collapsed across exposures. It is different from cynicism, which is a generalized distrust. Therefore, discrepancies between the original information and misinformation may need to be present to trigger the additional processing of misinformation that yields the RES pattern. In this article, a method of enhancing self-confidence, called reinforced self-affirmation (RSA), was proven to reduce the misinformation effect in five experiments. Inoculation, also known as ‘prebunking’, refers to techniques that build pre-emptive resistance to misinformation. When it comes to building resilience to misinformation, nudges generally try to prompt analytic thinking. The effects of repeatedly recalling a traumatic event on eyewitness memory and suggestibility. Immediate interviewing increases children's suggestibility in the short term, but not in the long term. Second, initial testing reduced how often scene items were correctly attributed to the scenes, a finding also reported by Huff et al. The immediate and delay conditions were tested in consecutive years across both fall and winter semesters, using participants recruited from the same research participation pool. When forgetting is greater, as is the case after a delay, initial testing can reduce suggestibility effects in free recall. Consistent with these beneficial effects of testing, some studies have found that initial testing reduces the misinformation effect. Researchers have long sought to discover effective methods for improving memory accuracy. and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account. During the training, the participants were acquainted with seven (Experiment 1) or six (Experiment 2) types of memory errors. Initial testing thus appears to reduce false memory similarly for misinformation of varying strength. (2013). The quality of false memory over time: Is memory for misinformation ‘remembered’ or ‘known’? Taking more than a few more seconds to think can help you spot misinformation. Correct recall was lower after delay (0.30 vs. 0.38), F(1, 210) = 53.16, MSE = 0.01, ηp2 = 0.20. The interactions, including the interaction between initial test and delay, did not reach significance (Fs < 1.88, ps > .15). The proportion of contagion items recalled was analyzed in a 3 (exposure: 0 vs. 1 vs. 4) × 3 (initial test: 0 vs. 1 vs. 2) × 2 (delay: immediate vs. 48 hours) mixed‐factor ANOVA. Additive misinformation, as presented in our social contagion phase, may have operated similarly to misleading questions in this respect given the absence of a detectable contradiction. Emotional skepticism is an awareness of potential manipulation through your emotions. by George Pennycook, Jonathan McPhetres, Yunhao Zhang, Jackson G. Lu, and David G. Rand, (preprint) in 2020. The interaction was not significant, F < 1. Practice at retrieving an event may provide a practical method for protecting memory from the influence of misinformation, given that encoding factors likely cannot be controlled in eyewitness situations. The psychology of misinformation: Why we’re vulnerable”. Critically, half of the participants completed an initial recall test after viewing the scenes but before the misinformation was introduced. Did you wash your hands? Techniques such as distinctive processing can enhance encoding (e.g., Huff, Bodner, & Fawcett, 2015; Hunt & Worthen, 2006), while warnings or penalties for errors can enhance retrieval by increasing memory monitoring (e.g., Gallo, Roediger, & McDermott, 2001; Chambers & Zaragoza, 2001). On a final test, misleading details are reported or endorsed more frequently relative to when those details had not been exposed to participants (e.g., Loftus, Miller, & Burns, 1978; Zaragoza, Belli, & Payment, 2007). by Bence Bago, David G. Rand and George Pennycook, (preprint) in 2019. Figure 3 captures this interaction. What to read next: “Fighting COVID-19 misinformation on social media: Experimental evidence for a scalable accuracy nudge intervention” by George Pennycook, Jonathan McPhetres, Yunhao Zhang, Jackson G. Lu, and David G. Rand, (preprint) in 2020. Use the link below to share a full-text version of this article with your friends and colleagues. Recall was immediately followed by a 36‐item source‐monitoring recognition test: A sheet containing a random ordering of 18 correct items (three per scene), 12 contagion items (two per scene), and 6 novel filler items (not presented in the scenes or on the fake tests). In sum, participants viewed six slides depicting household scenes and then completed zero, one, or two initial free recall tests. Other factors likely also contribute to whether a PET pattern or RES pattern occurs.  This effect occurs when participants recall of an… Therefore, initial testing may typically increase suggestibility for contradictory details but decrease suggestibility for additive details. Thus, if initial testing protects memory from misinformation by increasing correct memory, then increasing the number of initial tests should reduce misinformation effects by … We first consider why taking two (versus one) initial recall tests failed to yield a larger PET pattern. Telling a good story: The effects of memory retrieval and context processing on eyewitness suggestibility. On a final cued recall test, misleading details were more likely to be reported by the initial test group than a no‐test group (see also Chan & Langley, 2011; Chan & LaPaglia, 2011; Thomas, Bulevich, & Chan, 2010). They allow us to recognise users over multiple visits, and to collect basic data about your use of the website. An important and novel finding was that delayed exposure to contagion items also produced a PET pattern on free recall: Initial testing made participants less likely to freely report contagion items. In other words, the effectiveness of initial testing was not contingent on the strength of the misinformation. One participant was replaced for not following test instructions, and eight were replaced in the delay condition because of attrition. Skepticism involves more cognitive resources going into the evaluation of information, and as a result can lower susceptibility to misinformation. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology. Friction is when something is difficult to process or perform, such as through a technical obstacle like a confirmation button. Correct recall was computed by dividing the number of items recalled in a given scene by the total number of items presented in a given scene. In this article, a method of enhancing self-confidence, called reinforced self-affirmation (RSA), was proven to reduce the misinformation effect in five experiments. In other words, if asked to recall information immediately after acquiring it, people are more likely to retain it, even in the face of later misinformation. For one, testing has been shown to generate ‘mediator’ memory traces that can later serve as effective retrieval cues (Carpenter, 2011; Pyc & Rawson, 2010) and can also enhance memory organization (Congleton & Rajaram, 2012). To help the reader gauge the magnitude of the contagion effects, and in keeping with past studies (Huff et al., 2013; Meade & Roediger, 2002), Table 2 also provides corrected contagion scores computed by subtracting the zero‐exposure condition from the one‐ and four‐exposure conditions. However, fact-checking is a slow process involving significant manual and intellectual effort to find trustworthy and reliable information. Another direction of study in preventing the misinformation effect is the idea of using a pretest to prevent the misinformation effect. For example, public misconceptions about climate change can lead to lowered acceptance of the reality of climate change and lowered support for mitigation policies. Contagion items were always written in serial positions four and six, and correct items were randomly placed in the remaining list positions. Unexpectedly, misattributions were marginally more common after two than one initial test (0.57 vs. 0.46), t(70) = 2.03, SEM = 0.04, p = .05, d = 0.49. Here we explain the psychological concepts that can help us by building our mental (and therefore social) resilience. Participants viewed a series of household scenes (e.g., bathroom and bedroom) each containing a variety of typical objects. Misleading information was provided by an implied social source—the review of recall sheets ostensibly from other participants that included non‐studied ‘contagion’ items. Research suggests that placebo can reduce the misinformation effect. Social interactions can simultaneously enhance and distort memories: Evidence from a collaborative recognition task. If all else fails, you were aware that this could happen in the first place. An effect of initial test was found, F(2, 210) = 53.16, MSE = .01, ηp2 = 0.09. Time Individuals may not be actively rehearsing the details of a given event after encoding. This theory posits that a test, applied prior to the introduction of misleading information, can help maintain the accuracy of the memories developed after that point. However, strengthening of the initial misinformation seems to have a stronger . The power of testing memory: Basic research and implications for educational practice, Testing promotes eyewitness accuracy with a warning—Implications for retrieval enhanced suggestibility, Discrepancy detection and vulnerability to misleading postevent information, Memory suggestibility as an example of the sleeper effect, Retrieval enhances eyewitness suggestibility to misinformation in free and cued recall, Misinformation effects and the suggestibility of eyewitness memory, Do justice and let the sky fall: Elizabeth F. Loftus and her contributions to science, law, and academic freedom, Eyewitness evidence: Improving its probative value. It is the opposite of fluency. The authors used the case of Zika to test the effects of providing a source to correct misinformation on Facebook and Twitter. What you’ll find is that many of the resources we need to slow down misinformation are right there in our brains, waiting to be used. Initial testing therefore appears to improve memory accuracy, at least when misinformation is supplied by a social source—which is a very common potential source of influence in actual eyewitness situations (Paterson & Kemp, 2006). However, contagion item recall was similar after one or two initial tests (0.30 vs. 0.31), t < 1. Although initial testing generally benefitted memory accuracy, we also found some potential costs of initial testing. Three experiments explored ways to overcome these misinformation effects. Although participants were not randomly assigned to delay condition, delay was nonetheless treated as a random factor given the likely similarity in participant characteristics, and given that the same experimenter collected the data. When this shift occurs has been unclear. In our work using the social‐contagion‐of‐memory paradigm (present study; Huff et al., 2013), initial testing has typically had protective effects on memory, rather than increasing the misinformation effect. Thus, the initial test phase was 12 minutes for the one‐test groups and 24 minutes for the two‐test groups. Misinformation reaches millions of people within seconds who are closely connected in networked webs created by sharing, liking, forwarding, and posting. Participants were asked to review each recall test (presented in the order of the studied scenes) and to circle the objects they found pleasant. Consistent with these beneficial effects of initial testing, Huff, Davis, and Meade (2013) reported a reduction in misinformation effects using a social‐contagion‐of‐memory paradigm in which misinformation is introduced via an implied social source (e.g., McNabb & Meade, 2014; Meade & Roediger, 2002; Roediger, Meade, & Bergman, 2001), as opposed to another participant or confederate (e.g., Bodner, Musch, & Azad, 2009; Gabbert, Memon, & Allan, 2003; Hoffman, Granhag, See, & Loftus, 2001). These are important matters of public health and policy. Introducing friction can reduce belief in misinformation. What to read next: “Misinformation and its Correction: Cognitive Mechanisms and Recommendations for Mass Communication” by Briony Swire and Ullrich K.H. The misinformation effect, discussed by Levine and Loftus in their article on eyewitness testimony, is an important example.They show how the wording of a question can lead to the intrusion of non-existent elements into reports of memory. In Experiment 1, subjects viewed slides of a robbery, at a rate of four or seven seconds per slide. Contagion item recall was reduced after one than zero initial tests (0.30 vs. 0.41), t(142) = 3.90, SEM = 0.02, d = 0.65, and after two than zero initial tests (0.31 vs. 0.41), t(142) = 3.53, SEM = 0.02, d = 0.59. A protective effect of testing emerged on a final free recall test following the delay and on a final source‐memory test regardless of delay. One possibility is that the initial recall tests may have led participants to deem their memories for the scenes to be poor, thus leading them to adopt a more conservative response criterion for attributing items to the scenes on the source‐monitoring test. For example, Gordon and Thomas (2014) found evidence that initial testing directs attention to misleading details within the post‐event information (see also Tousignant, Hall, & Loftus, 1986). Applied Cognitive Psychology published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. The two experiments presented in this study investigate the impact of memory training on the misinformation effect. Participants spoke fluent English and had normal or corrected‐to‐normal vision. The psychology of misinformation — the mental shortcuts, confusions, and illusions that encourage us to believe things that aren’t true — can tell us a lot about how to prevent its harmful effects. In the third part of this series on the psychology of misinformation, we cover the psychological concepts that are relevant to the prevention of misinformation. In the misinformation paradigm, participants are exposed to misleading details about a previous event. Exposures to contagion items were counterbalanced across the scenes such that of the six scenes, zero writers presented contagion items for each of two scenes (zero‐exposure items), one writer presented contagion items for each of two scenes (one‐exposure items), and four writers presented contagion items for each of two scenes (four‐exposure items). Here, unexpectedly, the effect of initial test, F(2, 210) = 13.84, MSE = 0.03, ηp2 = 0.12, reflected fewer correct attributions after one than zero tests (0.51 vs. 0.63), t(142) = 3.87, SEM = 0.02, d = 0.65, after two than zero tests (0.49 vs. 0.63), t(142) = 4.87, SEM = 0.02, d = 0.82, but equivalent rates after one or two tests (0.51 vs. 0.49), t(142) = 1.15, SEM = 0.02, p = .25. In eyewitness situations, there is typically a gap between the event and reports (and between the event and subsequent testimony, of course). Finally, participants were probed for suspicion and for prior knowledge of the misinformation effect; none warranted replacement for these reasons. What to read next: “Explicit warnings reduce but do not eliminate the continued influence of misinformation” by Ullrich K.H. How initial memory testing modulates the effects of exposure to misleading information contributes to our understanding of memory. Today’s business word of the day is “miscommunication.” According to the unabridged English language version of the Collins English Dictionary, the definition of miscommunication (mɪskəˌmjuːnɪˈkeɪʃən; past participle miscommunicated) is, “a failure to communicate effectively.”Related words from the thesaurus include “misperception” and “flounder.” To date, the PET pattern has only been tested with additive misinformation, whereas the RES pattern has only been tested following contradictory misinformation. Many continue to believe the link between certain vaccines and autism, or Iraq and WMDs. We work to protect communities across the world from harmful disinformation. The number of exposures to contagion items was also varied (zero, one, or four times) to determine whether initial testing effects are modulated by the magnitude of the misinformation effect. Asking eyewitnesses to begin their accounts with free recall may thus benefit memory accuracy (Wilford et al., 2014), even though this procedure is not universally used in practice (Brunel & Py, 2013; Wells, Memon, & Penrod, 2006). The effects of cognitive interview timing on false memory for forcibly fabricated events, Repeated exposure to suggestion and false memory: The role of contextual variability, The influence of schematic knowledge on contradictory versus additive misinformation: False memory for typical and atypical items, Inoculating against eyewitness suggestibility via interpolated verbatim vs. gist testing, Comparing methods of encountering post‐event information: The power of co‐witness suggestion, The effect of memory trace strength on suggestibility, Why testing improves memory: Mediator effectiveness hypothesis. This can help you avoid misinformation down the line. Medical journals are in a unique position to solicit and publish research on medical misinformation and coordinate topics to focus the public’s attention and inform medical education, yet counteracting false claims requires an across-the-board response, Drs. To evaluate this possibility, our participants either completed zero, one, or two initial free recall tests. Thus, initial testing may improve the initial encoding of an event and later memory monitoring at test. For example, in a study published in 1994, subjects were initially shown one of two different series of slides that depicted a college student at the university bookstore, with different objects of the same type changed in some slides. Eyewitness memory is often distorted when misleading information is presented to subjects after encoding. This question is important from an applied perspective, given that free recall shares similar characteristics with the cognitive interview used in forensic settings (Fisher & Geiselman, 1992). Misinformation researchers found that ‘“analytic thinking helps to accurately discern the truth in the context of news headlines.”. Initial testing provides retrieval practice, which can yield robust memory benefits (Roediger & Karpicke, 2006; for a review, see Rawson & Dunlosky, 2011). The research into the misinformation effect and related phenomena shows how psychologically susceptible we are to fake news, false memories, and entrenched cognitive biases. However, LaPaglia and Chan (2013) demonstrated that initial testing can produce a PET pattern in this paradigm if misinformation is presented via misleading questions rather than a narrative. A protective effect of Empirically Based Investigative interviewing on misinformation reporting the finding of a robbery, a! It was unreliable and did not increase these protective effects of misinformation and tests... Us on Facebook and Twitter that cause confusion was delayed 48 hours if... Case after a delay, initial how to reduce misinformation effect may improve the initial encoding of an event can reduce the misinformation although! 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