Date of Award
Bachelor of Science
When presented with the question, “How many animals of each kind did Moses take on the Ark?”, people often respond “2”, despite knowing that Noah is the Biblical figure who is said to have taken animals on the ark. This phenomenon where people fail to detect inaccuracies in text has come to be known as the Moses Illusion (Erickson & Mattson, 1981). The current study was designed to investigate Moses illusion rates in a multiple-choice format. Further, participants were assessed on two cognitive constructs: language experience and cognitive inhibition. Results showed robust rates of the Moses illusion using the multiple-choice format, replicating previous work. Additionally, variability in Moses illusion rates was explained in part by taking into account individual differences in language experience. That is, individuals with greater exposure to printed language (as measured by the Author Recognition Task) were more likely to detect errors. There was no evidence that individual differences in inhibition (as measured by the Stroop Task) explained variability in Moses illusion rates.
Holmgren, Isabella, "Falling for Moses: The Role of Stroop Inhibition and Language Expertise" (2022). Honors Theses. 1618.