Is the Illusory Truth Effect Robust to Individual Differences in Cognitive Ability, Need for Cognitive Closure, and Cognitive Style?

32 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2018  

Jonas De keersmaecker

Ghent University-Universiteit Gent - Department of Developmental, Personality and Social Psychology

Arne Roets

Ghent University-Universiteit Gent - Department of Developmental, Personality and Social Psychology

Gordon Pennycook

Yale University

David G. Rand

Yale University

Date Written: April 17, 2018

Abstract

People are more inclined to believe that information is true if they have encountered it before. Although this illusory truth effect is firmly established, little is known about whether it is influenced by inter-individual differences in high-level cognition. Here we focus on three factors that have been shown to play a critical role in a wide variety of epistemic processes: cognitive ability, need for cognitive closure, and cognitive styles. In a first lab study (N = 207), there was no evidence for the moderating role of cognitive ability, need for cognitive closure, or preference for analytic thinking, but individual differences in experiential thinking increased the illusory truth effect. A second, preregistered study (N = 336), however, did not replicate the moderating role of experiential thinking, and also found no evidence for moderation by preference for analytic thinking and cognitive reflection. Finally, in a third study (N = 940), the illusory truth effect was examined using a highly involving set of stimuli, i.e. politically charged news headlines. Again, individual differences in cognitive reflection did not moderate the effect. These results demonstrate that the illusory truth effect is robust to individual differences in cognitive ability, need for cognitive closure and cognitive style.

Keywords: Illusory Truth Effect; Cognitive Style; Cognitive Ability; Need for Cognitive Closure; Decision Making

Suggested Citation

De keersmaecker, Jonas and Roets, Arne and Pennycook, Gordon and Rand, David G., Is the Illusory Truth Effect Robust to Individual Differences in Cognitive Ability, Need for Cognitive Closure, and Cognitive Style? (April 17, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3164151 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3164151

Jonas De keersmaecker (Contact Author)

Ghent University-Universiteit Gent - Department of Developmental, Personality and Social Psychology ( email )

Ghent, B-9000
Belgium

Arne Roets

Ghent University-Universiteit Gent - Department of Developmental, Personality and Social Psychology ( email )

Ghent, B-9000
Belgium

Gordon Pennycook

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

David G. Rand

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.DaveRand.org

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