Credibility of repeated statements: Memory for trivia

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Abstract

Previous research has shown that repeated statements are rated as more true than new ones. In Exp I, 98 undergraduates rated sentences for truth on 2 occasions, 3 wks apart. Results indicate that the repetition effect depends on Ss' detection of the fact that a statement is repeated: statements that are judged to be repeated are rated as truer than statements judged to be new, regardless of the actual status of the statements. Exp II with 64 undergraduates showed that repeated statements increment in credibility even if Ss were informed that they were repeated. It was further determined that statements that contradicted early ones were rated as relatively true if misclassified as repetitions but that statements judged to be changed were rated as relatively false: Ss were predisposed to believe statements that seemed to reaffirm existing knowledge and to disbelieve statements that contradicted existing knowledge. (15 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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