What is it about?

We know that misinformation can distort memory (briefly seeing a man crossing a road and later being misinformed that it was a woman can lead witnesses to misreport the person's gender at a third point in time). In a new take on this research, we added further misinformation (e.g., another misleading report mentioning a child crossing the road). Remarkably, this led to improvements in remembering (i.e., less endorsement of misinformation and increased accuracy) when people noticed the contradiction in this double misinformation.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

Misinformation is a plague in society - our research suggests that, under certain conditions (when misinformation is inconsistent and people realise this), misinformation may 'neutralize itself', empowering people to resist it and instead rely on their own cognitive resources.


It would be fascinating to further explore conditions under which simply adding more misinformation reduces the effect of this misinformation. For instance, why stop at double misinformation (as in our research)? Adding further inconsistent misinformation might make people even more aware of the inconsistencies and further undermine the credibility of misinformation.

Hartmut Blank
University of Portsmouth

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Double misinformation: Effects on eyewitness remembering., Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, March 2022, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1016/j.jarmac.2021.08.001.
You can read the full text:



The following have contributed to this page