Document Detail

The Moses, mega-Moses, and Armstrong illusions: integrating language comprehension and semantic memory.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11228907     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
This study develops a new theory of the Moses illusion, observed in responses to general knowledge questions such as, "How many animals of each kind did Moses take on the Ark?" People often respond "two" rather than "zero" despite knowing that Noah, not Moses, launched the Ark. Our theory predicted two additional types of conceptual error demonstrated here: the Armstrong and mega-Moses illusions. The Armstrong illusion involved questions resembling, "What was the famous line uttered by Louis Armstrong when he first set foot on the moon?" People usually comprehend such questions as valid, despite knowing that Louis Armstrong was a jazz musician who never visited the moon. This Armstrong illusion was not due to misperceiving the critical words (Louis Armstrong), and occurred as frequently as the Moses illusion (with critical words embedded in identical sentential contexts), but less frequently than the mega-Moses illusion caused when Moses and Armstrong factors were combined.
M Shafto; D G MacKay
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Psychological science     Volume:  11     ISSN:  0956-7976     ISO Abbreviation:  Psychol Sci     Publication Date:  2000 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-03-02     Completed Date:  2001-03-15     Revised Date:  2011-05-20    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9007542     Medline TA:  Psychol Sci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  372-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Psychology Department, University of California, Los Angeles, 405 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Auditory Perception
Mental Processes*
Task Performance and Analysis
Grant Support
R01 AG 097705/AG/NIA NIH HHS

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