Zoe Gadbow

Senior Project Advisor

Ira Hyman

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2023


Illusory Truth Effect, Applied Cognitive Psychology, Generation Effect, Cognitive Psychology, Feminism


The media, i.e. Tucker Carlson, often asks leading questions that guide audiences to generate implied answers. This can suggest misleading answers and guide people to construct disinformation. This strategy/format utilizes the generation effect (Slamecka & Graf, 1978), which states that when people generate information, they remember it. The Applied Cognitive Psychology (ACOG) lab is interested in whether this will contribute to an illusory truth effect (Hasher et al., 1977), which states that repetition of a statement increases belief in the statement. In order to investigate this phenomenon and reflect on the process itself this project contained two components: (1) para-professional and (2) social-personal. From the research previously conducted, in relation to the social-personal component, being a woman in applied cognitive psychology means pushing through imposter syndrome and all it entails in order to pursue academia, as well as being critical and aware of the tendency of society to devalue your work. Lab members were recruited for an informal interview at the request of the author. During the interviews, all subjects discussed their feelings of imposter syndrome, their happiness with the ACOG lab environment, the impacts of gender on safety, and the frustration and doubt surrounding their various identities. Overall I´ve found I hold many shared experiences and feelings with my other ACOG lab members. When focusing specifically on the gender-guided research of this project it can be concluded that imposter syndrome is very real, even in majority female fields, and that disinformation can lead to the perpetuation of the phenomenon.






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