Memory & Cognition

, Volume 7, Issue 5, pp 368–374

Reactions to blatantly contradictory information

  • Elizabeth F. Loftus

DOI: 10.3758/BF03196941

Cite this article as:
Loftus, E.F. Memory & Cognition (1979) 7: 368. doi:10.3758/BF03196941


In two experiments, subjects were shown a complex event and were later exposed to misinformation about that event. In addition, some subjects received a piece of blatantly contradictory misinformation. Blatant misinformation both was rejected by subjects and caused them to be more resistant to other misinformation that they would ordinarily have been inclined to accept the “spillover” effect. However, delaying the blatant misinformation until the other pieces of false information had already been processed destroyed its ability to make subjects immune to such “ordinary” misinformation. These results are consistent with the idea that subjects incorporate new information into memory at the time it is initially introduced and use this information to update an existing memorial representation.

Download to read the full article text

Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth F. Loftus
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WashingtonSeattle
  2. 2.Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral SciencesStanford