The Effects of Message Order and Debiasing Information in Misinformation Correction

Yue Dai, Wenting Yu, Fei Shen


Misinformation continues to influence inferences even after being discredited, making it extremely difficult to completely erase its detrimental effects. With a two-wave online experiment, this research tested how the effectiveness of misinformation correction is influenced by (1) whether correction is presented before or after misinformation and (2) whether correction is accompanied by a message that enhances the coherence between misinformation and correction message. The results showed that a correction was most effective when it was delivered after the misinformation and with a debiasing message. These effects persisted at least one week after the initial exposure to the correction. The results were consistent with the Knowledge Revision Components (KReC) framework and the schemata-plus-tag model of negation comprehension. The findings also provided a comprehension-based explanation to previous findings from meta-analysis regarding the order of presentation of misinformation and corrective messages. Practical implications for misinformation correction practices are discussed.


misinformation correction, primacy effect, recency effect, coherence, memory, inoculation

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