Misinformation Effect and Memory Impairment

Elizabeth Loftus, Helen Burns, and David Miller (1978) presented the results of several experiments that provide evidence about the fact that a person’s memory can be altered after the introduction of misleading information. Respondents were exposed to a certain original stimulus. After viewing several slides, they were given false or misleading information about the original stimulus. Those who received misleading information performed poorly on memory test designed to determine memory recollection regarding the event they have witnessed. Michael McCloskey and Maria Zaragoza (1985) debunked this claim. McCloskey and Zaragoza (1985) asserted that misleading post-event information does not impair memory for the original stimulus. McCloskey and Zaragoza (1985) claimed that the procedure used in previous studies was inappropriate. McCloskey and Zaragoza (1985) developed modified research procedures to highlight the impact of not remembering critical details of the original stimulus. It is the failure to remember critical details that caused poor test results.

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