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Truth feels easy: Knowing information is true enhances experienced processing fluency

Nahon, Lea S. and Teige-Mocigemba, Sarah and Reber, Rolf and Greifeneder, Rainer. (2021) Truth feels easy: Knowing information is true enhances experienced processing fluency. Cognition, 215. p. 104819.

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Abstract

Information is more likely believed to be true when it feels easy rather than difficult to process. An ecological learning explanation for this fluency-truth effect implicitly or explicitly presumes that truth and fluency are positively associated. Specifically, true information may be easier to process than false information and individuals may reverse this link in their truth judgements. The current research investigates the important but so far untested precondition of the learning explanation for the fluency-truth effect. In particular, five experiments (total N = 712) test whether participants experience information known to be true as easier to process than information known to be false. Participants in Experiment 1a judged true statements easier to read than false statements. Experiment 1b was a preregistered direct replication with a large sample and again found increased legibility for true statements-importantly, however, this was not the case for statements for which the truth status was unknown. Experiment 1b thereby shows that it is not the actual truth or falsehood of information but the believed truth or falsehood that is associated with processing fluency. In Experiment 2, true calculations were rated as easier to read than false calculations. Participants in Experiment 3 judged it easier to listen to calculations generally known to be true than to calculations generally known to be false. Experiment 4 shows an effect of truth on processing fluency independent of statement familiarity. Discussion centers on the current explanation for the fluency-truth effect and the validity of processing fluency as a cue in truth judgments.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Forschungsbereich Sozial-, Wirtschafts- und Entscheidungspsychologie > Sozialpsychologie (Greifeneder)
UniBasel Contributors:Greifeneder, Rainer
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0010-0277
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
Language:English
Identification Number:
edoc DOI:
Last Modified:13 Jul 2021 08:47
Deposited On:13 Jul 2021 08:47

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