In this episode of The Indispensable Conversation:

Is Misinformation Toxic?

Our guest is media expert Dave Summers

The misinformation effect refers to the tendency for post-event information to interfere with the memory of the original event. Researchers have shown that the introduction of even relatively subtle information following an event can have a dramatic effect on how people remember.

Even the simple phrasing of a question about the past can influence our memories. In a recent experiment, researchers showed participants a video of a minor car accident. Later, they asked them to report on the accident. They found that simply asking subjects a question phrased suggestively — “about how fast were the cars going when they smashed into each other?” — could influence their memories of how serious the accident was.

Research Backs This Up

Further, the research into the misinformation effect and related phenomena shows how psychologically susceptible we are to fake news. It seems that it spawns false memories, and feeds entrenched cognitive biases. It also shows how far-reaching the effects of misinformation can be on public discourse. This is especially true when the misinformation effect is compounded by network effects. Social media networks almost seem designed to accelerate the spread of falsehoods and propaganda.

Does this kind of misinformation hurt your business?

I discuss this topic with media expert, Dave Summers, the founder of Pine Mountain Digital in this episode of The Indispensable Conversation on LinkedIn Live.


Please be sure to let us know if there were any “A-ha” moments for you.

By the way, my 6th book: Indispensable: Build and Lead A Company Customers Can’t Live Without (Humanix, February 2021) is available for pre-order. It provides dozens of examples from industry-leading companies like Amazon, BMW and Apple to reinforce its key points. Each chapter helps you to learn how visionary business leaders like Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Jamie Dimon are already applying these ideas in today’s business world.