38 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2004
Telling people that a consumer claim is false can make them misremember it as true. In two experiments older adults were especially susceptible to this "illusion of truth" effect. Repeatedly identifying a claim as false helped older adults remember it as false in the short term, but paradoxically made them more likely to remember it as true after a three-day delay. This unintended effect of repetition comes from increased familiarity with the claim itself, but decreased recollection of the claim's original context. Findings provide insight into susceptibility over time to memory distortions and exploitation via repetition of claims in media and advertising.
Keywords: Older consumers, beliefs, memory, learning, public policy issues
JEL Classification: M30, M31, M37
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Skurnik, Ian and Yoon, Carolyn and Park, Denise C. and Schwarz, Norbert, How Warnings About False Claims Become Recommendations. Journal of Consumer Research, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=532202