Continued Influence Effect

The continued influence effect (also known as the continued influence of misinformation) refers to the way that falsehoods persist in our thinking.

Examples of such falsehoods include dubious claims by advertisers or politicians or "old wive's tales" (like how going outside with wet hair causes colds or how eating candy causes acne). These false claims, once heard, can continue to influence thoughts and feelings long after they have been proven false. Modern day examples include the belief that the Great Wall of China can be seen from the moon (it can't!) or that cats can kill babies by sucking out their breath (they can't!). Once pieces of information like this are internalized it isn't easily forgotten, no matter how untrue and disproven the beliefs are.

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