But where’s the evidence? The effect of explanatory corrections on inferences about false information

Abstract

Research on the continued influence effect has consistently shown that people continue to rely on false causal information despite being corrected by more recent information. Corrections are most effective when paired with an alternative explanation that ‘fills the causal gap’ left by the correction. However, it may not always be possible provide an alternative explanation. Previous research suggests people more readily discount unreliable information. Two experiments examined whether corrections to false causal information in a news report are more effective when the correction explains why the source of the false information was unreliable. The results showed that a correction did not fully eliminate reliance on false information and that an explanatory correction was no more effective than a non-explanatory correction. People also continued to rely on false information when there was limited information to support its validity. Possible explanations for the ineffectiveness of explanatory corrections are discussed.


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