Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 1–21 | Cite as

A theoretical review of the misinformation effect: Predictions from an activation-based memory model

  • Michael S. Ayers
  • Lynne M. RederEmail author


This article reviews the major empirical results and theoretical issues from over 20 years of research on people’s acceptance of false information about recently experienced events (see, e.g., Loftus, 1975). Several theoretical perspectives are assessed in terms of their ability to account for the various and sometimes conflicting results in the literature. Theoretical perspectives reviewed include the trace alteration hypothesis, the blocking hypothesis, the task demands/strategic effects hypothesis, source monitoring, and an activation-based semantic memory account. On the basis of its ability to account for the reviewed data and other cognitive phenomena, an activation-based semantic network model of memory is suggested for understanding the data and planning future research in the area.


Retention Interval False Memory Strategic Effect Misinformation Effect Suggested Item 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Psychonomic Society, Inc 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburgh

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