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Protecting Against Misleading Post-event Information with a Self-Administered Interview


Fiona Gabbert, Division of Psychology, School of Social & Health Sciences, University of Abertay Dundee, Scotland, UK.



Two studies investigated whether an early recall opportunity, in the form of a self-administered interview (SAI), reduced forgetting and protected against the negative consequences of post-event misinformation. In both studies, participants viewed a simulated crime on DVD after which half immediately recorded their statement by using the SAI, whereas control participants did not have an immediate recall opportunity. Following a delay, participants were presented with misinformation encountered either in a misleading news report (Study 1) or in the form of misleading cued-recall questions (Study 2). Results showed that participants who had completed a SAI after witnessing an event were significantly less prone to forgetting and significantly more resistant to the negative consequences of misinformation. The SAI was able to protect both the quantity and quality of information about a previously witnessed event. Applied implications are discussed. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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