Misinformation and the Sins of Memory: False-Belief Formation and Limits on Belief Revision

Eryn J. Newman, Briony Swire-Thompson, Ullrich K.H. Ecker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
120 Downloads (Pure)


Misinformation has the potential to negatively affect both individual decision-making and the common good. For example, belief in misinformation can have a negative impact on public health, environmental behaviors, and democracy (Cook, 2019; Lewandowsky et al., 2017; Loomba et al., 2021; Nisbet et al., 2021; Swire-Thompson & Lazer, 2022). Both in online and offline settings, people’s vulnerability to misinformation arises in part from features of our cognitive system. These cognitive features can lead us to form false beliefs, remember false claims as true, and struggle with memory updating and belief revision when misinformation is corrected. Here, we provide a commentary on the target article “Memory Sins in Applied Settings: What Kind of Progress?” (Schacter, 2022a), as many of Schacter’s sins of memory are fundamental to understanding the mechanisms behind the cognitive impacts of misinformation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-477
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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