How our plastic memories trip us up:  Media effects over time.

 
Jefe
 
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Jefe
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17 October 2011 02:10
 

Our fallible memories trip us up.

Newly published research suggests nuggets of misinformation embedded in a fictional television program can seep into our brains and lodge there as perceived facts. What’s more, this troubling dynamic seems to occur even when our initial response is skepticism.

That’s the conclusion of a study published in the journal Human Communication Research. It asserts that, immediately after watching a show containing a questionable piece of information, we’re aware of where the assertion came from, and take it with an appropriate grain of salt. But this all-important skepticism diminishes over time, as our memory of where we heard the fact or falsehood in question dims.

Study: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-2958.2011.01415.x/full

Interesting, and a challenge at the same time.

 
 
burt
 
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burt
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17 October 2011 05:38
 
Jefe - 17 October 2011 12:10 AM

Our fallible memories trip us up.

Newly published research suggests nuggets of misinformation embedded in a fictional television program can seep into our brains and lodge there as perceived facts. What’s more, this troubling dynamic seems to occur even when our initial response is skepticism.

That’s the conclusion of a study published in the journal Human Communication Research. It asserts that, immediately after watching a show containing a questionable piece of information, we’re aware of where the assertion came from, and take it with an appropriate grain of salt. But this all-important skepticism diminishes over time, as our memory of where we heard the fact or falsehood in question dims.

Study: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-2958.2011.01415.x/full

Interesting, and a challenge at the same time.

This could be an effect of the availability heuristic: if the thing goes into memory coded with an emotional tag (from the program) while our skeptical reaction was unemotional and objective then what lingers for recall is the emotional tag, not the skepticism and so when recalled the misinformation seems to come out of a legitimate memory, we’ve forgotten the context and the skeptical response.

 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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17 October 2011 09:19
 

It’s because we love stories. We love the opportunity to fill in a blank. And we prefer a bad answer to no answer. A lot of people I know are not even particularly concerned with skepticism or science. They get their information from television programs because they don’t read books.

(Of course the above bit of information comes from the internet so shouldn’t we be skeptical of it on principal?)

 
SkepticX
 
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SkepticX
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17 October 2011 18:24
 
Brick Bungalow - 17 October 2011 07:19 AM

It’s because we love stories. We love the opportunity to fill in a blank. And we prefer a bad answer to no answer. A lot of people I know are not even particularly concerned with skepticism or science. They get their information from television programs because they don’t read books.

(Of course the above bit of information comes from the internet so shouldn’t we be skeptical of it on principal?)


Reading books for information can be far better, or perhaps in some cases actually far worse, than relying on TV. In fact a lot of people get a lot of relatively good information (relatively) from the more academically oriented TV networks/channels/shows.

 
 
GAD
 
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GAD
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18 October 2011 03:45
 

That explains drug and political ads on TV.

 
 
goodgraydrab
 
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goodgraydrab
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18 October 2011 13:38
 

You mean it didn’t come from Harris?