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Am J Psychol. 2004 Winter;117(4):579-93.

Warnings reduce the magnitude of the imagination inflation effect.

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  • 1Department of Behavioral Sciences, York College of Pennsylvania, 17405-7199, USA.


Imagination inflation occurs when people increase their confidence that an event actually happened after imagining the details of the event. The purpose of this study was to determine whether warning people about the imagination inflation effect would reduce their tendency to inflate their ratings of the imagined events. In one condition, we warned participants about the deleterious effects of imagining distant events. Compared with a control group that did not receive a warning, this group produced a significantly smaller imagination inflation effect. We discuss these results and the imagination inflation effect in the context of 2 theories designed to explain the cognitive processes that produce this effect.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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