word or phase for a belief or idea that is adopted or more firmly held based on hearing it repeatedly, as in an idea that is at first rejected and later adopted because the number of times the idea is presented.

  • The subjects (i.e. the people who believe the idea is true) can be said to be brainwashed or indoctrinated. The ideas themselves could be part of a propaganda.
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 10:39
  • There is a word close enough to what you want. See mumpsimus. en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/mumpsimus
    – vickyace
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 11:11
  • @tchrist Not a duplicate. The other question is asking what is the verb for repeating something over and over again, this question is asking what the noun is for the belief that results.
    – Andy
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 16:49
  • A related concept, for something that is widely believed but not true, is "common misconception".
    – Andy
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 16:50
  • A Myth. Websters Definition: any invented story, idea, or concept: His account of the event is pure myth. 4. an imaginary or fictitious thing or person. 5. an unproved or false collective belief that is used to justify a social institution.
    – Tom22
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 17:13

1 Answer 1


The Illusory Effect:

The illusory truth effect is the idea that if you repeat something often enough, people will slowly start to believe it’s true. But a new study has revealed that the illusory truth effect is much stronger than we imagined. Because it turns out that even if a person has prior knowledge disproving a lie they’re being told, they’ll still believe the lie if it’s repeated enough.

Journal of Experimental Psychology: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022537177800121

  • 1
    In one study people who knew that Scotsmen wear kilts were convinced after repetition that Scotsmen wear saris.
    – Chris M
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 11:13
  • 1
    @Chris M That rumour certainly needs scotching. Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 11:51
  • 1
    I'm sure that there are some Scotswomen who wear saris
    – Chris M
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 12:01
  • 1
    No doubt when they realised the truth the people who had been brainwashed were sari about it.
    – Chris M
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 12:13

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