The bigger the lie, the more people will believe it.
July 15, 2011 6:53 AM Subscribe
Why do people believe something even after it's been proven false?
posted by zooropa (73 comments total)
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A new study confirms that "the effect of misinformation on memory and reasoning cannot be completely eliminated even after it's been corrected."
According to researchers at the University of Western Australia, this effect -- the "continued influence effect of misinformation" -- occurs even if a retraction is issued, understood, believed, and remembered.
The experiment itself sounds like an instruction set for propagandists: "Repetition was used to more strongly encode the misinformation. Cognitive loading, when attention is divided between two tasks, was used to weaken or dilute the messages."
See also: "The Big Lie"