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J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn. 2007 Jan;33(1):219-30.

Reversing the truth effect: learning the interpretation of processing fluency in judgments of truth.

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Psychologisches Institut, Universit├Ąt Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.


Repeated statements receive higher truth ratings than new statements. Given that repetition leads to greater experienced processing fluency, the author proposes that fluency is used in truth judgments according to its ecological validity. Thus, the truth effect occurs because people learn that fluency and truth tend to be positively correlated. Three experiments tested this notion. Experiment 1 replicated the truth effect by directly manipulating processing fluency; Experiment 2 reversed the effect by manipulating the correlation between fluency and truth in a learning phase. Experiment 3 generalized this reversal by showing a transfer of a negative correlation between perceptual fluency (due to color contrast) and truth to truth judgments when fluency is due to prior exposure (i.e., repetition).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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