AB-Misinformation and Its Correction: Continued Influence and Successful Debiasing

By March 18, 2018comp-5005, Data science
Annotated bibliography

Misinformation and Its Correction:Continued Influence and Successful Debiasing

Stephan Lewandowsky, Ullrich K. H. Ecker, Colleen M. Seifert, Norbert Schwarz, and John Cook (17 September 2012)

Paper’s reference in the IEEE style?

S. Lewandowsky, U. K. H. Ecker, C. M. Seifert, N. Schwarz, and J. Cook, “Misinformation and Its Correction: Continued Influence and Successful Debiasing,” Psychological Science in the Public Interest, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 106–131, 2012.

How did you find the paper?

Referenced from a previously reviewed paper. (http://skyentific.me/ab-subject-2/)

If applicable, write a list of the search terms you used.

  1. NA

Was the paper peer reviewed? Explain how you found out.

The article was published in the Psychological Science in the Public Interest Journal and was peer reviewed

Does the author(s) work in a university or a government-funded research institute? If so, which university or research institute? If not, where do they work?

The first two authors work at the University of Western Australia

The third and fourth at the University of Michigan

The fifth at the University of Queensland


  • Stephan Lewandowski, Professor in the School of Psychological Science at UWA
  • Ullrich Ecker, Associate Professor School of Psychological Science at UWA
  • Colleen Seifert, Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan
  • Norbery Schwartz, Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California
  • John Cook, ?

What does this tell you about their expertise? Are they an expert in the topic area?

All authors appear to be experts in psychology and how misinformation effects personal bias.

What was the paper about?

This paper psychological overview of how people’s beliefs are both influenced, changed or reinforced by misinformation, and how undoing the effect of misinformation on those beliefs is difficult.

Multiple examples of how misinformation can build false beliefs are discussed, including the link between vaccinations and autism, that Obama was a Muslim bork outside of the US, that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction leading to the US invasion.

Origins of misinformation:

  • Rumors and fiction
  • Governments and politicians
  • Vested interests (e.g. corporate interests in smoking)
  • The media

How much misinformation influences a person is linked to how well it fits with their existing worldview.  If it fits well, it reinforces this worldview and debiasing this view by retracting the misinformation has little or no effect.

Strategies to decrease the bias associated with this misinformation include:

  • providing repeated retractions of the information
  • providing an alternative narrative which explains how the misinformation occurred (assuming it was accidental) and that fits within the persons existing worldview.

Provision of retractions can however backfire and further entrench the bias caused by the misinformation.


If applicable, is this paper similar to other papers you have read for this assignment? If so, which papers and why?


If applicable, is this paper different to other papers you have read for this assignment? If so, which papers and why?


What do these similarities and differences suggest? What are your observations? Do you have any new ideas? Do you have any conclusions?

[100-200 words]

This question is to be answered after your critical analysis is completed: Which sections (if any) of your critical analysis was this paper cited in?