Date of Award
Bachelor of Science
Dr. Stephen Smith
The study of misinformation blossomed with the work of Elizabeth Loftus in the 1970s, looking, for example, at how the presence of information in leading questions overshadowed the existing memory of a car crash. Loftus and Palmer (1974) first used the term misinformation effect and found a connection between language and episodic memory. At first, this term only referred to when participants were asked to recall an event when prompted by a biased question, and their memory of the misinformation was measured. Quickly there grew two types of misinformation effect, one in which the misleading information is presented before the event occurs as ‘priming’ the individual ((Lewandowsky, Ecker, Seifert, Schwarz & Cook, 2012), and one in which the biasing information is presented afterwards, as in the original study. More recently, Dalal, Diab and Tinsdale (2015) applied misinformation to hiring decisions in the use of rumors by employers, a specific type of misinformation. This study was groundbreaking for misinformation research as it showed the effect could impact not just declarative memory but person judgements as well. While many variables have been studied with respect to misinformation effects on memory, there has been very little work focused on the influence of misinformation on personal judgements and feelings.
Crosswhite, Elizabeth, "How the Authority of Misinformation Influences Personal Judgments of Others" (2018). Honors Theses. 39.