Testing Increases Suggestibility for Narrative-based Misinformation but Reduces Suggestibility for Question-based Misinformation


Correspondence to: Jessica A. LaPaglia, Department of Psychology, Morningside College, 1501 Morningside Ave, Sioux City, IA 51106, U.S.A. E-mail: lapagliaj@morningside.edu


A number of recent studies have found that recalling details of an event following its occurrence can increase people's suggestibility to later presented misinformation. However, several other studies have reported the opposite result, whereby earlier retrieval can reduce subsequent eyewitness suggestibility. In the present study, we investigated whether differences in the way misinformation is presented can modulate the effects of testing on suggestibility. Participants watched a video of a robbery and some were questioned about the event immediately afterwards. Later, participants were exposed to misinformation in a narrative (Experiment 1) or in questions (Experiment 2). Consistent with previous studies, we found that testing increased suggestibility when misinformation was presented via a narrative. Remarkably, when misinformation was presented in questions, testing decreased suggestibility. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.