Reminders of previous fake news may help your memory

fake news

People who receive reminders of previous fake news can form new factual memories with greater fidelity, based on an article published in the journal Psychological Science.

You experience the same misinformation–for instance, that world governments are covering up the existence of flying saucers–the more recognizable and possibly believable that untrue information becomes.

New research, however, has discovered that reminders of previous fake news will help protect against recalling misinformation as true while enhancing recollection of real world events and information.

“Reminding people of previous encounters with fake news can improve memory and beliefs for facts that correct misinformation,” said Christopher Wahlheim, a lead author on the paper and assistant professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. “This suggests that pointing out conflicting information could improve the comprehension of truth in some situations.”

Wahlheim and colleagues conducted two experiments examining whether research participants have been shown corrections of news and information they might have encountered in the past. Reminders of past fake news seemed before several corrections but not others. Study results revealed that misinformation reminders improved the participants’ recall of facts and belief precision. The researchers measured the results to suggest that misinformation reminders raise consciousness of discrepancies and promote memory updating. These results could be applicable to people who confront fake news frequently.

“It suggests that there may be benefits to learning how someone was being misleading. This knowledge may inform strategies that people use to counteract high exposure to misinformation spread for political gain,” Wahlheim said.

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