The Illusory Truth Effect

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

The illusory truth effect.

A lie oft-repeated serves as a cheap and comfortable alternative to the truth.

The illusory truth effect, also known as the illusion of truth, describes how, when we hear the same false information repeated again and again, we often come to believe it is true. Troublingly, this even happens when people should know better—that is, when people initially know that the misinformation is false.

Why do we believe misinformation more easily when it’s repeated many times? -The Decision Lab

Many of the posts here regarding “Army Myths” fall into this category. Most of the myths are beliefs held strongly mostly due to exposure over time.

There are two cures for this.

One is critical thinking. Stop and think about it for a moment before you commit your full being.

Two is to put the same thing at work for the truth. Unfortunately, the truth is often not as fun as the lie.


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