Executive function and the continued influence of misinformation: A latent-variable analysis

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Misinformation can continue to influence reasoning after correction; this is known as the continued influence effect (CIE). Theoretical accounts of the CIE suggest failure of two cognitive processes to be causal, namely memory updating and suppression of misinformation reliance. Both processes can also be conceptualised as subcomponents of contemporary executive function (EF) models; specifically, working-memory updating and prepotent-response inhibition. EF may thus predict susceptibility to the CIE. The current study investigated whether individual differences in EF could predict individual differences in CIE susceptibility. Participants completed several measures of EF subcomponents, including those of updating and inhibition, as well as set shifting, and a standard CIE task. The relationship between EF and CIE was then assessed using a correlation analysis of the EF and CIE measures, as well as structural equation modelling of the EF-subcomponent latent variable and CIE latent variable. Results showed that EF can predict susceptibility to the CIE, especially the factor of working-memory updating. These results further our understanding of the CIE's cognitive antecedents and provide potential directions for real-world CIE intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0283951
Number of pages21
JournalPLoS One
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2023


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