Speckmann, Felix ORCID: 0000-0002-6790-1693 (2022). Investigating meaningful consequences as an attenuation strategy for the truth effect and the Moses illusion as examples of cognitive illusions. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.

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Humans make countless decisions every day and inevitably make mistakes. One origin of such errors are cognitive illusions involving flaws in memory, judgment, or perception. On the one hand, they serve to shed light on the functioning of the human cognitive system, but on the other hand, they can also have negative consequences such as stereotyping or misinformation. In this dissertation, I will focus on two specific cognitive illusions and attempt to attenuate them: First, the Moses illusion, in which people read a distorted question with one term replaced by a semantically related but incorrect term, yet fail to notice this distortion and respond to the question as if it were correct. Second, the truth effect, in which people rate repeated judgments as truer than non-repeated judgments. By reviewing the existing literature, I show that among all the investigated possible moderators to weaken the effect, one approach has been largely missing: motivation. In six chapters, I investigate providing monetary incentives for correct responses (for the Moses illusion and the truth effect) and the relevance of statements presented (for the truth effect) as ways to increase motivation and attenuate both cognitive illusions. However, all motivational manipulations result in little attenuation at best (if any). I discuss the possible reasons for the failed attenuation and propose a combined approach for attenuation that includes both a motivational manipulation as well as teaching effective strategies to avoid cognitive illusions.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Speckmann, Felixfelix.speckmann@uni-koeln.deorcid.org/0000-0002-6790-1693UNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-555568
Date: 2022
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Human Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Human Sciences > Department Psychologie
Subjects: Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Cognitive illusions, incentivized responding, Moses illusion, Truth effect, COVID-19English
Date of oral exam: 4 February 2022
NameAcademic Title
Unkelbach, ChristianProf. Dr.
Genschow, OliverJun.-Prof. Dr.
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/id/eprint/55556


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