Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Sharda Umanath


We are constantly bombarded with false information in our every day lives, and evaluating truths from falsehoods is more difficult than it appears to be. Knowledge neglect occurs when we fail to apply our stored knowledge appropriately (Umanath & Marsh, 2014). Multiple-choice and short answer tests have preliminarily been shown to help prevent this phenomenon from occurring, but their abilities to help vary based on how much a participant knows about the relevant information. In the present study, we had participants take either a multiple-choice or short answer initial general knowledge test, with or without feedback about the correct answer for each question, before being exposed to stories containing misinformation. They then took a final test to assess to what extent did they adopt the misinformation they read. Receiving feedback was beneficial in protecting participants from adopting misinformation they were exposed to. However, without feedback, if a participant initially did not know the answer to a question, being exposed to incorrect information made them more suggestible to adopting and reproducing that incorrect information. Even if they initially knew the correct relevant information, without being given feedback, exposure to misinformation still made them suggestible to it and likely to reproduce it later on.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.