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The effects of age on remembering and knowing misinformation

Saunders, Jo and Jess, Alice (2010) The effects of age on remembering and knowing misinformation. Memory, 18 (1). pp. 1-10.

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Abstract

Previous research has suggested that older adults are more susceptible to misleading information. The current experiments examined the nature of older and younger participants’ conscious experience of contradictory and additive misinformation (Experiment 1), and misinformation about a memorable or non-memorable item (Experiment 2). Participants watched a video of a burglary before answering questions about the event that contained misinformation. Participants then completed a cued recall task whereby they answered questions and indicated whether they remembered the item, knew the item, or were guessing. The results indicated that older adults were less likely to remember or know the original item in comparison to younger adults but were also more likely to know misinformation than younger adults. This pattern occurred for contradictory misinformation and misleading information about memorable and non-memorable items. Only additive misinformation was associated with more remember responses for older but not younger adults.