Event-related potential evidence suggesting voters remember political events that never happened

Jason C. Coronel, Kara D. Federmeier, Brian D. Gonsalves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Voters tend to misattribute issue positions to political candidates that are consistent with their partisan affiliation, even though these candidates have never explicitly stated or endorsed such stances. The prevailing explanation in political science is that voters misattribute candidates' issue positions because they use their political knowledge to make educated but incorrect guesses. We suggest that voter errors can also stem from a different source: false memories. The current study examined event-related potential (ERP) responses to misattributed and accurately remembered candidate issue information. We report here that ERP responses to misattributed information can elicit memory signals similar to that of correctly remembered old information-a pattern consistent with a false memory rather than educated guessing interpretation of these misattributions. These results suggest that some types of voter misinformation about candidates may be harder to correct than previously thought.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbernss143
Pages (from-to)358-366
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2014

Fingerprint

Medical Errors
Evoked Potentials
Communication

Keywords

  • Event-related potentials
  • False memories
  • Misinformation
  • Political

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Cite this

Event-related potential evidence suggesting voters remember political events that never happened. / Coronel, Jason C.; Federmeier, Kara D.; Gonsalves, Brian D.

In: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Vol. 9, No. 3, nss143, 01.03.2014, p. 358-366.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{16dfba1f16274bcb95ab5e9322c47f7c,
title = "Event-related potential evidence suggesting voters remember political events that never happened",
abstract = "Voters tend to misattribute issue positions to political candidates that are consistent with their partisan affiliation, even though these candidates have never explicitly stated or endorsed such stances. The prevailing explanation in political science is that voters misattribute candidates' issue positions because they use their political knowledge to make educated but incorrect guesses. We suggest that voter errors can also stem from a different source: false memories. The current study examined event-related potential (ERP) responses to misattributed and accurately remembered candidate issue information. We report here that ERP responses to misattributed information can elicit memory signals similar to that of correctly remembered old information-a pattern consistent with a false memory rather than educated guessing interpretation of these misattributions. These results suggest that some types of voter misinformation about candidates may be harder to correct than previously thought.",
keywords = "Event-related potentials, False memories, Misinformation, Political",
author = "Coronel, {Jason C.} and Federmeier, {Kara D.} and Gonsalves, {Brian D.}",
year = "2014",
month = "3",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1093/scan/nss143",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "9",
pages = "358--366",
journal = "Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience",
issn = "1749-5024",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Event-related potential evidence suggesting voters remember political events that never happened

AU - Coronel, Jason C.

AU - Federmeier, Kara D.

AU - Gonsalves, Brian D.

PY - 2014/3/1

Y1 - 2014/3/1

N2 - Voters tend to misattribute issue positions to political candidates that are consistent with their partisan affiliation, even though these candidates have never explicitly stated or endorsed such stances. The prevailing explanation in political science is that voters misattribute candidates' issue positions because they use their political knowledge to make educated but incorrect guesses. We suggest that voter errors can also stem from a different source: false memories. The current study examined event-related potential (ERP) responses to misattributed and accurately remembered candidate issue information. We report here that ERP responses to misattributed information can elicit memory signals similar to that of correctly remembered old information-a pattern consistent with a false memory rather than educated guessing interpretation of these misattributions. These results suggest that some types of voter misinformation about candidates may be harder to correct than previously thought.

AB - Voters tend to misattribute issue positions to political candidates that are consistent with their partisan affiliation, even though these candidates have never explicitly stated or endorsed such stances. The prevailing explanation in political science is that voters misattribute candidates' issue positions because they use their political knowledge to make educated but incorrect guesses. We suggest that voter errors can also stem from a different source: false memories. The current study examined event-related potential (ERP) responses to misattributed and accurately remembered candidate issue information. We report here that ERP responses to misattributed information can elicit memory signals similar to that of correctly remembered old information-a pattern consistent with a false memory rather than educated guessing interpretation of these misattributions. These results suggest that some types of voter misinformation about candidates may be harder to correct than previously thought.

KW - Event-related potentials

KW - False memories

KW - Misinformation

KW - Political

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84895196227&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84895196227&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1093/scan/nss143

DO - 10.1093/scan/nss143

M3 - Article

C2 - 23202775

AN - SCOPUS:84895196227

VL - 9

SP - 358

EP - 366

JO - Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience

JF - Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience

SN - 1749-5024

IS - 3

M1 - nss143

ER -