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False memories for fake news during Ireland's abortion referendum
Murphy, Gillian; Loftus, Elizabeth F.; Hofstein Grady, Rebecca; Levine, Linda J.; Greene, Ciara M.
The current study examined false memories in the week preceding the 2018 Irish abortion referendum. Participants (N = 3,140) viewed six news stories concerning campaign events—two fabricated and four authentic. Almost half of the sample reported a false memory for at least one fabricated event, with more than one third of participants reporting a specific memory of the event. “Yes” voters (those in favor of legalizing abortion) were more likely than “no” voters to “remember” a fabricated scandal regarding the campaign to vote “no,” and “no” voters were more likely than “yes” voters to “remember” a fabricated scandal regarding the campaign to vote “yes.” This difference was particularly strong for voters of low cognitive ability. A subsequent warning about possible misinformation slightly reduced rates of false memories but did not eliminate these effects. This study suggests that voters in a real-world political campaign are most susceptible to forming false memories for fake news that aligns with their beliefs, in particular if they have low cognitive ability.
Keyword(s): False memory; Politics; Fake news; Misinformation; Bias; Open data; Open materials
Publication Date:
Type: Journal article
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Language(s): English
Institution: University College Cork
Citation(s): Murphy, G., Loftus, E. F., Grady, R. H., Levine, L. J. and Greene, C. M. (2019) 'False Memories for Fake News During Ireland’s Abortion Referendum', Psychological Science, doi: 10.1177/0956797619864887
Publisher(s): Sage Publications
File Format(s): application/pdf
Related Link(s):
First Indexed: 2019-09-20 06:49:22 Last Updated: 2019-09-20 06:49:22