Purdue University Graduate School
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posted on 2023-06-26, 12:09 authored by Hailey ArreolaHailey Arreola

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.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Psychological Sciences

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Darryl W. Schneider

Additional Committee Member 2

Nadia M. Brashier

Additional Committee Member 3

Thomas S. Redick

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