Post-event information presented in a question form eliminates the misinformation effect


Yuh-shiow Lee, Department of Psychology, National Chung-Cheng University, Chiayi 621, Taiwan, R. O. C. (e-mail:


This study investigated the influences of sentence surface forms on the misinformation effect. After viewing a film clip, participants received a post-event narrative describing the events in the film. Critical sentences in the post-event narrative, presented in either a statement or a question form, contained misinformation instead of questions with embedded false presuppositions; thus participants did not have to answer questions about the original event. During the final cued-recall test, participants were informed that any relevant information presented in the post-event narrative was not in the original event and that they should not report it. Consistent with previous findings, Experiment 1 demonstrated that post-event information presented as an affirmative statement produced the misinformation effect. More importantly, post-event information presented in a question form, regardless of whether it contained a misleading or studied item, increased the recall of correct information and reduced false recall. Experiment 2 replicated the main finding and ruled out an alternative explanation based on the salience of misleading items. Post-event information presented in a question form created a condition similar to that which produces the testing effect.