Newly released results from a 2018 study claim that seeing fabricated news stories, if they align closely to your beliefs, can form false memories in your mind. 

Science News

According to a research published in the journal ‘Psychological Science‘, it was found out that fake news can have similar effect in the sphere of politics, just like the US Presidential race in 2020. 

The Conversation

Talking about the said relation, lead author of the research, Gillian Murphy, said:

In highly emotional, partisan political contests, such as the 2020 U.S. presidential election, voters may ‘remember’ entirely fabricated news stories. In particular, they are likely to remember scandals that poorly reflect on the opposing candidate. 
Express UK

In order to prove their study, 3,140 eligible voters were recruited online asked them about their plans to vote in the referendum. 

These participants were then presented with six news reports, two of which were fake or made-up stories. 

Psychological Science

After allowing them sufficient time to read all the stories, participants were asked if they remembered events from the last story that they read.

Before a cognitive test could be taken, participants were told that a few stories they read were fabricated pieces. 

New Atlas

After the results came out, it was clear that the study was correct. 

Nearly half of the respondents reported memory from at least one of the made-up story, whereas, many of them could remember rich details from a fabricated story. 


Some participants even failed to reconsider what they remember from the various stories despite being told some of the information they now remember can be purely fictitious. 

Murphy explained this, saying: 

This demonstrates the ease with which we can plant these entirely fabricated memories, despite this voter’s suspicion and even despite an explicit warning that they may have been shown fake news.
Cult of Mac

Investigating false news and the psychological effect of such stories on our mind is very critical in the modern world. 

This is because, with today’s advanced technology, it is easier to make fake phony news reports as well as dubiously edited and fabricated videos.