Why do pictures reduce false memories?: reasons behind reduction in false memories

Date

2015

Authors

Webster, Marcus

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Abstract

False memory can be reduced by pictures. The current experiment investigated whether the reduction was due to the distinctive properties of pictures or the processing used to connect pictures to words. To create false memory, categorized lists were used. Auditory presentation of the words was accompanied by a visual presentation of the word itself, a picture that was not consistent with the word, or a picture that was highly consistent with the word. The participants (N = 158) were asked to study word lists and then complete a recognition test in the four presentation conditions; auditory, visual, low consistency picture, and high consistency picture. There was a significant effect of condition for related lures and for correct recognition of studied items as well. Low consistency pictures reduced false memory for related items and correct memory for study items. The findings of the recognition test suggest that neither the distinctiveness heuristic nor elaborative processing is fully supported. False memory can be reduced by inconsistent pictures but seemingly because the pictures interfere with encoding the study word.

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Keywords

elaborative, false, interference, memory, pictures, reduction

Citation

Department

Psychology