Brief Report

Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 1551-1556

First online:

The effect of Twitter exposure on false memory formation

  • Kimberly M. FennAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Michigan State University Email author 
  • , Nicholas R. GriffinAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Michigan State University
  • , Mitchell G. UitvlugtAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Michigan State University
  • , Susan M. RavizzaAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Michigan State University

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Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have increased drastically in popularity. However, information on these sites is not verified and may contain inaccuracies. It is well-established that false information encountered after an event can lead to memory distortion. Therefore, social media may be particularly harmful for autobiographical memory. Here, we tested the effect of Twitter on false memory. We presented participants with a series of images that depicted a story and then presented false information about the images in a scrolling feed that bore either a low or high resemblance to a Twitter feed. Confidence for correct information was similar across the groups, but confidence for suggested information was significantly lower when false information was presented in a Twitter format. We propose that individuals take into account the medium of the message when integrating information into memory.


Memory False memory Social media