The Daily Scoop: Why People Believe Misinformation, Even After It’s Corrected


These days we are bombarded with information, much of it incorrect, and long after the political campaigns are over a lot of it will still be buried in the part of our brain where we store our memories. And new research shows that the more intensely we believe something to be true, the more likely it will resurface in the future, even if we have learned it was false.

Cognitive psychologist Andrew Butler of Duke University, a memory and learning specialist, hopes to figure out a way to help us purge our brains of false data, and he’s a little encouraged. But it’s probably not going to be easy.
Read more…

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7 Comments to “The Daily Scoop: Why People Believe Misinformation, Even After It’s Corrected”

  1. Ya know… that pretty much explains why folks believe the misinformation the mainstream political press has been spewing out for years. 😉

  2. AZ,
    Exactly. The main stream media spreads varying levels of deception on a regular basis.
    Most of the media is mega-corporate owned and all of these outlets have a ‘core’ audience to pander to. It’s no secret that NBC (and MSNBC), ABC, CNN and the BBC openly stand to the left and have always given Democrats less of scrutiny than any Republican in recent times. While CBS is somewhere is left/middle and Fox is to the right.
    (for the record I’m am neither a registered D or R. I’m an independent who has voted Libertarian and Constitution Party since 2008)

    Our press and media have become contaminated and untrustworthy, as has the government over the past 20-25 years and it is worsening. Every report, study
    and stance that comes out of Washington contains a hidden and sometimes not so
    hidden political agenda. And the press/media just perpetuate it instead of vetting it.

    What’s funny is that the author chose to write/repost about this, but chastised me when I stated that the BLS data was suspect and skewed. Seems that was a different case…
    Well, is isn’t, but because it is not convenient or conducive to making a specific a point,
    it has to be discredited. Of course, I know as do many, many others that the government and main stream media has been lying to us for a long while now, the in-fighting among
    the left and the right at our expense, the citizens. You said best-

    …”the misinformation the mainstream political press has been spewing out for years.”

    • Econometrics> I chastised you for the use of the “marixst in chief”, “kool aid drinkers” and “Obummer” remarks. It made any serious consideration of your bls number claim hard to accept, let alone consider. This is not constructive nor is it to the level of respectful debate I aim to maintain on this site. When it degrades through the use of that type language you first started using there is little to be gained.

      As you are now aware, once you relaxed, showed some respect for the other commenters, you and Annebel were able to come to some agreement on your debate.
      I hope you were able to recognize how the discussion became more civil once a more professional tone was adopted.

      And one note of clarification, the article posted in about misinformation, how easily it is accepted and how difficult it can be to dislodge after it is corrected. Prime examples of this are “death panels”, “Affordable Care Act is government-run health care” or “Republicans are ending Medicare” (the 3 previous Politifact Lies of the Year).

      It’s not about media bias. That is another topic.

      • Listen, I took your advice about backing down a bit on my tone, now please stop ‘speaking’ to me in a condescending way, because that is how you are coming across. As for the topic on misinformation,
        the phrase ‘political campaigns’ is an inference to a broad and general debate about misinformation, as was the study that was conducted. So, please do not try to deflect the issue and try to make it about a single specific ‘death panel’ debate. It is clear that you have a certain view of politics and that when challenged outside of your beliefs, you are unwilling to accept any other views as having any factual basis. That’s fine, it’s your opinion and belief, but please don’t try to come across as a know it all and tell me what the so-called facts are from only your perspective.
        I have my opinions and beliefs as well. You are quick to scold me for my words, yet you take a similar stance with a level of superiority in my perception of how you phrase your words. So in future maybe you could take some of your own advise and step back a bit. It’s clear we are on opposite ends of the political and social landscape. In order to keep it civil, I will refrain from making any further comments on any posts.

      • Econometrics> You may have taken my advice but in your above comment you re-framed the motivation behind it by implying I was scolding you for making the bls claim. If you find the moderate tone I use towards you as condescending then I suppose there isn’t much I can do about that. That’s simply something you infer for some other reason.

        “So, please do not try to deflect the issue and try to make it about a single specific ‘death panel’ debate.”

        Interesting how you did not include my mentioning of the misinformation example from the Democrats’ side about the GOP ending Medicare. I included that to balance out that particular point. So I’m sorry your accusation about me making it about one topic does not hold water in this case.

        “It is clear that you have a certain view of politics and that when challenged outside of your beliefs, you are unwilling to accept any other views as having any factual basis.”

        Really? Wow, now that is a rather large assumptive leap to make given we’ve only spoken a couple of times. Just because I may defend my views does not mean that I am unwilling to accept others’ beliefs. If I can argue against particular “facts” with other evidence I will do so. But that does not mean at all that I do not respect someone else and how they frame their argument. That is the difference between the actual situation and the assumption you’re making here.

        “don’t try to come across as a know it all and tell me what the so-called facts are from only your perspective.”

        You really pulled a lot out of the clarification I made about the “media bias” you interpreted the posted article to be about versus what the article actually was focused on. Yes, it mentioned political campaigns BUT it did not go into any relation of media bias.

        “I have my opinions and beliefs as well. You are quick to scold me for my words, yet you take a similar stance with a level of superiority in my perception of how you phrase your words.”

        Once again that is your inference. I am simply taking a civil tone without becoming angered or insulting. If that is what you’re viewing as a tone of superiority, well like I said there isn’t much I can do about that. Perhaps, it’s a matter of becoming defensive when you’re corrected.

        “So in future maybe you could take some of your own advise and step back a bit.”

        I have argued and debated numerous people on here and on other sites speaking in the same manner as I do with you and so far you’re the only one to take offense. Most of the time I receive appreciation from others of very differing views for not resorting to the name calling and empty, insulting rhetoric. Based on that previous experience and perception from many others it seems like my tact is acceptable.

        “In order to keep it civil, I will refrain from making any further comments on any posts.”

        Perhaps that would be best. Thank you for participating.

  3. This is how Republicans are thriving. They have FOX News and right wing commentators who regularly put out incorrect information. This gives them an outlet to divide our society because without division the Republicans would not politically survive.

    • Yep, they keep Politifact in business 🙂

      There does really seem to be more of a purposeful effort to mislead or at least perpetuate incorrect information if it will benefit them. The whole health care reform debate really illustrated this. I remember seeing a clip from Sean Hannity where he refered to the reform as “government run health care” as he was ending a conversation with a guest. The guest responed by saying something to the effect of, “Well it’s not actually government-run. It’s insurance reform.”
      Hannity responded, “Well I’ll keep calling it that.” which ended the segment.

      That says a lot about the motivation to perpetuate inaccuracies.

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