Misinformation revisited: New evidence on the suggestibility of memory

Kenneth R. Weingardt*, Elizabeth F. Loftus, D. Stephen Lindsay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

In three experiments involving a total of 623 subjects, a series of slides was shown depicting a student in a college bookstore stealing a variety of items. Next, subjects read a narrative describing the event that contained some misinformation and some neutral information about several critical details. Finally, subjects took a memory test. On this test, subjects were asked to list exemplars of 20 specified categories but were instructed not to list any items that they saw in the slide sequence. Analogous to Lindsay's (1990) adaptation of Jacoby, Woloshyn, and Kelley's (1989) "logic-ofopposition" paradigm, the tendency to report suggested details was thus set in opposition to the ability to remember the source of those details. Therefore, we interpreted failure to include suggested details as exemplars as evidence that subjects believed those details had been present in the event. Analysis of subjects' responses under opposition instructions suggests that some misled subjects come to genuinely believe that they saw items that, in reality, were only suggested to them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-82
Number of pages11
JournalMemory & Cognition
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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