WILL SPACING RETRACTIONS MODULATE THE CONTINUED INFLUENCE EFFECT?
Globally, the misinformation crisis exposed the need for cognitive researchers to
investigate interventions that will mitigate the influence of misinformation within memory. One
proposed solution is a retraction, whereby misinformation is indicated to be inaccurate. Previous
studies have demonstrated that providing a retraction after misinformation may reduce references
to misinformation. The continued reliance on misinformation even after it has been corrected is
known as the continued influence effect (CIE). It is unclear whether repeated retractions and the
spacing of repeated retractions can reduce the CIE. In the present study, two experiments were
conducted to investigate whether spacing repeated retractions among news messages would be
more effective at reducing the CIE compared to massing retractions. Both experiments exposed
participants to a news story containing misinformation. Each experiment included four retraction
conditions: no retraction, a single retraction, or repeated retractions that were spaced or massed.
In Experiment 1, a single retraction reduced reliance on misinformation, but we did not observe
an additional benefit of repeated retractions when there were two retractions. In Experiment 2, we
provided participants with three repeated retractions. Using this stronger manipulation, repeated
retractions reduced references to misinformation compared to a single retraction, but there was no
benefit of spacing them out. Collectively, our results suggest that repeating corrective messages
can help reduce references to misinformation, with no supporting evidence that it matters how
the repetitions are organized.
- Master of Science
- Psychological Sciences
- West Lafayette