Truthiness and falsiness of trivia claims depend on judgmental contexts

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When people rapidly judge the truth of claims presented with or without related but nonprobative photos, the photos tend to inflate the subjective truth of those claims-a "truthiness" effect (Newman et al., 2012). For example, people more often judged the claim "Macadamia nuts are in the same evolutionary family as peaches" to be true when the claim appeared with a photo of a bowl of macadamia nuts than when it appeared alone. We report several replications of that effect and 3 qualitatively new findings: (a) in a within-subjects design, when people judged claims paired with a mix of related, unrelated, or no photos, related photos produced truthiness but unrelated photos had no significant effect relative to no photos; (b) in a mixed design, when people judged claims paired with related (or unrelated) and no photos, related photos produced truthiness and unrelated photos produced "falseness;" and



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1337-1348
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology
Issue number5
Early online date30 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015

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© APA. This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.


  • cognitive fluency, photographs, truth judgments, truthiness


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