2014 S3: John Hessler

Belief Change and Memory for Previous Beliefs after Comprehension of Contentious Scientific Information

We explore the relationship between belief change and recollection of previous beliefs. Subjects reported beliefs about TV violence. Later, subjects read a one-sided, belief inconsistent text. We manipulated whether subjects reported beliefs after reading first, or recollected previous beliefs first. A third group was told their previous beliefs before reporting current beliefs. Recollections were not improved when subjects recollected beliefs first. When told previous beliefs, belief change was reduced, suggesting a desire to appear consistent.

Faculty Mentor: Michael Wolfe, Psychology

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