Not wallowing in misery–retractions of negative misinformation are effective in depressive rumination

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Abstract

People often continue to rely on misinformation in their reasoning after they have acknowledged a retraction; this phenomenon is known as the continued-influence effect. Retractions can be particularly ineffective when the retracted misinformation is consistent with a pre-existing worldview. We investigated this effect in the context of depressive rumination. Given the prevalence of depressotypic worldviews in depressive rumination, we hypothesised that depressive rumination may affect the processing of retractions of valenced misinformation; specifically, we predicted that the retraction of negative misinformation might be less effective in depressive ruminators. In two experiments, we found evidence against this hypothesis: in depressive ruminators, retractions of negative misinformation were at least as effective as they were in control participants, and more effective than retractions of positive misinformation. Findings are interpreted in terms of an attentional bias that may enhance the salience of negative misinformation and may thus facilitate its updating in depressive rumination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)991-1005
JournalCognition and Emotion
Volume33
Issue number5
Early online date14 Oct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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