On the (non) persuasive power of a brain image.

RB Michael, EJ Newman, M Vuorre, G Cumming, M Garry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

23 Downloads (Pure)


The persuasive power of brain images has captivated scholars in many disciplines. Like others, we too were intrigued by the finding that a brain image makes accompanying information more credible (McCabe & Castel in Cognition 107:343-352, 2008). But when our attempts to build on this effect failed, we instead ran a series of systematic replications of the original study—comprising 10 experiments and nearly 2,000 subjects. When we combined the original data with ours in a meta-analysis, we arrived at a more precise estimate of the effect, determining that a brain image exerted little to no influence. The persistent meme of the influential brain image should be viewed with a critical eye.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin & Review
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes

Cite this