The underlying memory processes of adults' spontaneous and implanted false memories
Author(s)Mojardin-Heraldez, Ambrocio, 1963-
Contributor(s)Brainerd, Charles J.
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AbstractFalse memories are an important problem in many spheres of life. It is necessary to identify what kinds of memory processes cause them in order to prevent their negative consequences. This study confirmed most of fuzzy-trace theory's assumptions about the type of memory processes that underlie spontaneous and implanted false memories (Brainerd and Reyna, in press). Following the MISINFORM model's procedures, 131 university Mexican students listened to a list of words and took two recognition tests (immediate and one-week delayed). Testing lists included four types of targets and four types of distractors. Targets were: (1) control, (2) repeated/nonmisinformed, (3) nonrepeated/nonmisinformed, and (4) repeated/misinformed. Distractors were: (1) control-related distractors, (2) misinforming-related distractors that supplanted targets during misinformation-RD1, (3) misinforming related distractors presented with their instantiating targets during misinformation- RD2, and (4) unrelated distractors. Analysis of variance of hits and false alarms showed the misinformation and mere-memory testing effects. Stochastic dependency analyses found neither persistence of true nor of false memories. MISINFORM analyses showed that true memories are due to identity judgments about targets, spontaneous false memories are due to false identity and similarity judgements about related distractors, and implanted false memories are due to false identity judgments about misinforming related distractors and nonidentity judgments about misinformed targets. MISINFORM also showed that targets cue the retrieval of verbatim memories, related distractors cue the retrieval of gist memories about targets, and misinforming distractors cue verbatim memories of misinformation.