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MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2015
 
The illusory truth effect is when "repeated statements receive higher truth ratings than new statements." This study adds that even if we know something should be true, repeating a false claim will affect our knowledge on the topic. The authors write that "participants demonstrated knowledge neglect, or the failure to rely on stored knowledge, in the face of fluent processing experiences."

Methods: "In two experiments, we evaluate the claim that illusory truth effects do not occur if people can draw upon their stored knowledge. We used two types of statements: contradictions of well-known facts and contradictions of facts unknown to participants. We created two competing multinomial models of the way people evaluate statements’ truthfulness. The knowledge-conditional model reflects the assumption that people search memory for relevant information, only relying on fluency if this search is unsuccessful. The fluency-conditional model, on the other hand, posits that people can rely solely on fluency, even if stored knowledge is available to them. We tested the fit of these models of illusory truth using binary data (Experiment 2)."

Results: "Neither study supported the knowledge-conditional model, which has been assumed in the literature until now. The fluency-conditional model, on the other hand, fit the data well. People searched memory in the absence of fluency, consistent with the idea that disfluent processing triggers more elaborate processing (Song & Schwarz, 2008)."

Conclusion: "The present research demonstrates that fluency can influence people’s judgments, even in contexts that allow them to draw upon their stored knowledge."

Paywall to article: Fazio, L. K., Brashier, N. M., Payne, B. K., & Marsh, E. J. (2015). Knowledge Does Not Protect Against Illusory Truth. Journal Of Experimental Psychology: General, doi:10.1037/xge0000098
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