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Abstract

Research suggests that placebo can reduce the misinformation effect. We aimed to examine for the first time whether placebo administered in the guise of caffeine can reduce the misinformation effect. One hundred and twenty -three healthy volunteers were randomly assigned to four groups in a 2 Placebo (Present, Not Present) × 2 Narrative (Misleading, Correct) study design. Participants from placebo groups drank 100 ml of placebo solution. They were told that it was water mixed with caffeine which could positively influence their memory. After three minutes, they watched a short movie clip as an original event and read a narrative with misleading details or correct details as a postevent information; they then completed a 22 -item, two -alternative forced -choice questionnaire. The results reveal that the misinformation effect occurred. Although participants in the placebo with misinformation group scored better than participants who did not drink placebo and read the narrative containing misleading details, the difference was not statistically significant. Thus, it is concluded that placebo might not be enough to reduce the misinformation effect when it is administered in the guise of caffeine.
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