Magazine article Work & Family Life

Truth or False? Memory Can Play Tricks

Magazine article Work & Family Life

Truth or False? Memory Can Play Tricks

Article excerpt

Public health campaigns often start with a catchy list of myths or misconceptions about a particular product or behavior, then follow up with the truth. But this may not be the best approach, according to psychologist Ian Skurnik of the University of Toronto and his colleagues at the University of Michigan. Their study of how consumers remember health information they have read or are told was published in The Journal of Consumer Research.

As time goes by, the study found, we recall the information we were given-but we forget which part of it was myth and which was the truth.

"In laying down a memory trace, the human brain seems to encode the memory of the claim separately from its context-who said it, when and other particulars including the important fact that the claim is not true," says Dr. …

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