Movie “Facts” … or Fantasy?

Movies based on true stories often gain a wide audience.  Selma.  American Sniper. The Theory of Everything.  The Imitation Game.  I think you could call each of them a great movie.  But how accurate are they?

Research by psychologists has led to the conclusion that viewers tend to reshape their understanding of historical events based on films, even when they know the films are not accurate.  The key problem is that viewers do not remember the source for their memories.

The problem is elaborated in a New York Times article, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/15/opinion/sunday/why-movie-facts-prevail.html.

What are the implications of this problem for survey researchers?  For qualitative researchers who conduct intensive interviews?  Do mixed methods provide a way to lessen the distortions this problem introduces into our understanding of the social world?

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This entry was posted in Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 14, Chapter 15, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 8 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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