Date of Award

5-1-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Jimmeka Guillory

Second Advisor

Dr. Dolores Bradley Brennan

Abstract

False information can have a lasting impact on a person’s decision-making and reasoning abilities. College students, for example, have been shown to develop unhealthy behaviors possibly due to a lack of factual nutrition information. Previous efforts to correct false beliefs revealed that it is difficult, but not impossible to lower the influence of misconceptions. The purpose of the current study was to explore whether the type of correction influenced belief change (posttest scores). Additionally, the researcher sought out to study the impact self-esteem level had on the overall success of corrections. First, participants were exposed to true and false health statements. They were then randomly assigned to receive either simple corrections to the false statements, detailed corrections, or none at all. Self-esteem levels were also measured. Analyses revealed that there were significant main effects of time and of correction type. Self-esteem did not have a significant main effect. On average, posttest scores for the control group were significantly lower than both the simple and detailed correction groups; however there was no difference between scores for the simple and detailed correction groups. Present findings contribute to existing recommendations for successfully correcting misinformation.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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