Learning errors from fiction: difficulties in reducing reliance on fictional stories.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Readers rely on fiction as a source of information, even when fiction contradicts relatively well-known facts about the world (Marsh, Meade, and Roediger, 2003). Of interest was whether readers could monitor fiction for errors, in order to reduce suggestibility. In Experiment 1, warnings about errors in fiction did not reduce students' reliance on stories. In Experiment 2, all subjects were warned before reading stories written at 6th- or 12th-grade reading levels. Even though 6th-grade stories freed resources for monitoring, suggestibility was not reduced. In Experiment 3, suggestibility was reduced but not eliminated when subjects pressed a key each time they detected an error during story reading. Readers do not appear to spontaneously monitor fiction for its veracity, but can do so if reminded on a trial-by-trial basis.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Marsh, EJ; Fazio, LK

Published Date

  • July 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 34 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 1140 - 1149

PubMed ID

  • 17128612

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-5946

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0090-502X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3758/bf03193260


  • eng