Political Attitudes and the Processing of Misinformation Corrections

Ullrich K.H. Ecker, Li Chang Ang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)


Misinformation often continues to influence people’s memory and inferential reasoning after it has been retracted; this is known as the continued influence effect (CIE). Previous research investigating the role of attitude-based motivated reasoning in this context has found conflicting results: Some studies have found that worldview can have a strong impact on the magnitude of the CIE, such that retractions are less effective if the misinformation is congruent with a person’s relevant attitudes, in which case the retractions can even backfire. Other studies have failed to find evidence for an effect of attitudes on the processing of misinformation corrections. The present study used political misinformation—specifically fictional scenarios involving misconduct by politicians from left-wing and right-wing parties—and tested participants identifying with those political parties. Results showed that in this type of scenario, partisan attitudes have an impact on the processing of retractions, in particular (1) if the misinformation relates to a general assertion rather than just a specific singular event and (2) if the misinformation is congruent with a conservative partisanship.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPolitical Psychology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Oct 2018

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