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Truth is hard to find…

October 5, 2009

Scientists study the effect of fictional historical films used in tandem with factual school books in the classroom and people’s ability to discern facts- “…when information in the film directly contradicted the text, people often falsely recalled the misinformation portrayed in the film, sometimes as much as 50 percent of the time.”

“The misleading effect occurred even when people were reminded of the potentially inaccurate nature of popular films right before viewing the film,” Butler says.

“However, the effect was completely negated when a specific warning about the particular inaccuracy was provided before the film,” adds Butler. “These results have implications for the common educational practice of using popular films as an instructional aid.”

So- “everyone knows it’s not real” is not true, unless you go into damn detail and break it down specifically.

It’s actually one of the messages that stayed with me from reading The Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television- that visual media wins out over actual experience often enough in the brain. And that was written in the 70’s. (Never mind small events like Birth of a Nation which kicked off a new round of a few thousand lynchings…)

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