Recent findings indicate that retained information tends to converge at the basic level (BL). The aim of the present study was to apply these findings to the investigation of misinformation phenomena. In three experiments, we examined the extent to which the contaminating effects of misinformation are influenced by its consistency with the accessible representation of the original information. Following different retention intervals, participants were misled with items that either shared the same BL with the target items (Same-BL condition) or did not (Different-BL condition). Misinformation was found to interfere with subsequent correct recall of event information only in the Same-BL condition. Suggestibility was more pronounced and more affected by the timing of misinformation presentation in the Same-BL condition. Moreover, Same-BL distortions were more often misattributed to the event than Different-BL distortions. These findings are interpreted in terms of the interaction between the misinformation and the accessible (BL) representations of the event information at the time the misinformation is introduced.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by THE ISRAEL SCIENCE FOUNDATION (Grant 898/03-34.2) awarded to Ainat Pansky.
- Basic-level convergence
- False memory
- Misinformation effect
- Misleading post-event information
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Language and Linguistics
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Linguistics and Language
- Artificial Intelligence