Wait A Minute...What Isn't Right Here? Investigating How We Identify, Learn, and Evaluate True and Untrue Information Restricted; Files Only
Gilbert, Rachael (Spring 2021)
Compiling and extending information is a focus in the literature surrounding the perpetuation of untrue information and the literature that focuses on self-derivation, or the generation, of novel information. Yet, few studies have put these two fields in conversation with one another and focused specifically on the manner in which untrue information is incorporated into an individual’s knowledge base and used to draw novel conclusions and inform future decisions. In a study with university undergraduate students, I examined differences in participants’ ability to derive new information when they encountered untrue information. I also tested differences in self-derivation performance before and after an opportunity to self-correct when untrue information was consistent as opposed to inconsistent with a participant’s prior knowledge. Lower self-derivation performance was present in all instances in which participants encountered untrue information, but performance was lowest in instances where participants encountered information that was both untrue and consistent with their prior knowledge base. These patterns of findings suggest that the presence of untrue information can impair an individual’s self-derivation performance, and that inconsistency of untrue information is a key part of how an individual identifies and corrects the untrue information they encounter.
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