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Ullrich Ecker, University of Western Australia

Ullrich Ecker

The Continued Influence of Misinformation

Ullrich Ecker is a cognitive psychologist at the University of Western Australia’s School of Psychological Science, which is ranked in the top 50 psychology departments globally. His research focuses on the impact of misinformation on memory, reasoning, and behaviour, as well as misinformation inoculation and debunking techniques. With his students and collaborators, he has published more than 80 journal articles and book chapters on these topics. Ecker is an associate editor at the journals Experimental Psychology and Collabra–Psychology, and a consulting editor for Memory & Cognition. He has provided expert advice to Facebook, German and Australian courts of law, the Singaporean and Victorian Parliaments, and the Australian Government as a member of a national COVID-19 “Roadmap to Recovery” taskforce. He is currently working on an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship project titled “Combating misinformation—Designing a toolkit to address a global problem.”   

Abstract: Misinformation often continues to affect reasoning post-correction—this is known as the continued influence effect. I will present some new work that investigates the impact of corrected misinformation on behaviours (as opposed to behavioural intentions) and will review some recent evidence that relates to social-context factors influencing the continued influence effect, including source credibility, social norms, and worldview congruence. I will demonstrate that initial concerns that corrections tend to backfire were largely unwarranted and will touch on the importance of replication work, as well as policy implications.