Availability cascade

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Also named the truth effect, the illusory truth effect or the illusion-of-truth effect. It is the tendency to believe information to be correct because we are exposed to it more times.

An availability cascade is a self-reinforcing cycle that explains the development of certain kinds of collective beliefs.

It is very closely related to the Availability Heuristic, as people believe things that are more prominent in their memories, adding the idea that perception can be affected by recurring thoughts is powerful.


Examples

Ever heard of the fact that people swallow 5-10 spiders a year in their sleep? Well, it was a social experiment.

The Snapple Company published incorrect facts on their lids, being the swallowing spiders one of them. The “fact” is deeply perpetuated in our society instead of other incorrect facts because people fear spiders, which means that they are present in our minds more often (Availability Heuristic).


How it is exploited

It is exploited by reminding people about something, positive or negative. Usually, this is the reason why the Media publishes negative news most of the time.

In football (soccer), and other sports it is normal that when two teams face each other all of a sudden negative things that happened in previous matches are brought up.