Presentation Type

Poster

Faculty Mentor’s Full Name

Yoonhee Jang

Faculty Mentor’s Department

Psychology

Abstract

Judgments on whether a statement is true are influenced by various factors. For example, Newman et al. (2012) found participants rated a statement as true if it was presented with a related photo, even if the photo did not provide any evidence that the statement is true. This phenomenon is known as the truthiness effect. Despite a large number of existing studies, little has been known about the mechanism underlies the truthiness effect. In the memory literature, previous studies demonstrated that simply repeating an item, such as a word, makes it more memorable (Jacoby & Whitehouse, 1989), suggesting that mere exposure facilitates conceptual processing and leads to high familiarity. The aim of the current study is to investigate whether pre-exposure of a photo increases familiarity, which influences people to judge a statement as true regardless of whether the statement is true. Considering the effect size of Newman et al.’s study, this study is recruiting about 65 participants from the psychology subject pool. Sixty-four photos and statements from Newman et al.’s study are used as materials. The study consists of two phases: a pre-exposure phase, and a judgement phase. During phase 1, a series of photos are shown to participants, and they are asked to make a likeness judgment for each. In phase 2, they are shown a series of statements with a photo or no photo, where they will determine the truthfulness of the statement. Critically, half of the photos in phase 2 are used in phase 1. Expected results are that participants judge statements as more truthful when they are presented with a photo and when the photo has been pre-exposed. These results add to the truthiness-effect literature on how familiarity through pre-exposure of a photo makes things more believable and true even if the statement is indeed false.

Category

Humanities

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The Effect of Familiarity on Truthiness Judgement

Judgments on whether a statement is true are influenced by various factors. For example, Newman et al. (2012) found participants rated a statement as true if it was presented with a related photo, even if the photo did not provide any evidence that the statement is true. This phenomenon is known as the truthiness effect. Despite a large number of existing studies, little has been known about the mechanism underlies the truthiness effect. In the memory literature, previous studies demonstrated that simply repeating an item, such as a word, makes it more memorable (Jacoby & Whitehouse, 1989), suggesting that mere exposure facilitates conceptual processing and leads to high familiarity. The aim of the current study is to investigate whether pre-exposure of a photo increases familiarity, which influences people to judge a statement as true regardless of whether the statement is true. Considering the effect size of Newman et al.’s study, this study is recruiting about 65 participants from the psychology subject pool. Sixty-four photos and statements from Newman et al.’s study are used as materials. The study consists of two phases: a pre-exposure phase, and a judgement phase. During phase 1, a series of photos are shown to participants, and they are asked to make a likeness judgment for each. In phase 2, they are shown a series of statements with a photo or no photo, where they will determine the truthfulness of the statement. Critically, half of the photos in phase 2 are used in phase 1. Expected results are that participants judge statements as more truthful when they are presented with a photo and when the photo has been pre-exposed. These results add to the truthiness-effect literature on how familiarity through pre-exposure of a photo makes things more believable and true even if the statement is indeed false.