Date of Award


Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Academic Program

Criminal Justice BA



First Advisor

Mark Huff, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Sara Jordan, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Sabine Heinhorst, Ph.D.

Advisor Department



Exposure to misleading details following an eyewitnessed event often leads to memory errors for these misleading details—a pattern termed the misinformation effect. A recent debate is whether completing a memory test after a witnessed event, but before exposure to misleading details, can reduce subsequent misinformation (a protective effect of testing; PET) or increase subsequent misinformation (retrieval-enhanced suggestibility; RES). We further evaluated the initial testing effects using witnessed videos (vs. static images) which often yield a RES pattern and using household scenes which often yield a PET pattern. Following study of four household videos (e.g., bathroom, bedroom, etc.) that depicted an actor interacting with a set of objects, participants either completed an initial recall test or a filler task (no test control), followed by exposure to misinformation in the form of false objects and a final recall and source-monitoring test. Experiment 1 had participants complete the misinformation/final test phases during the same experimental session, whereas Experiment 2 delayed the misinformation/final test phases by 48 hours. In both experiments, initial testing improved correct memory for presented objects in the videos but had no effect on misinformation in either recall or source tests. Our results, therefore, indicate that while testing can benefit correct memory, it does not produce a memory cost (i.e., RES) to misinformation.

Keywords: Misinformation; Retrieval Enhanced Susceptibility; Protective Effect of Testing; Videos; Delay; BFI