The Effects of Emotion on False Memory Production
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The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of emotion on false memory production. 118 undergraduate college students participated in this study. Each participant was first asked to listen to a list of study words taken from the Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm. After listening to the word lists, participants were then given an emotion induction task that induced moods by rating person descriptive words taken from the Dumas norms. The participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: positive, negative, or neutral. Each participant was then given an immediate recognition memory test. One week later, participants were given a delayed recognition memory test to measure the degree of false memory. Results indicate that on the immediate memory participants in the positive mood condition were more susceptible to false memory. On the immediate memory test it was also found that participants in the neutral condition had the highest acceptance rates for target words, suggesting they had the best true memory. On the delayed memory test, it was found that participants in the negative condition were less likely to accept all types of words than participants in the negative and positive emotion conditions. This finding is consistent with what was found on the immediate memory test. Interestingly, on the delayed memory test participants in the positive emotional condition actually increased their acceptance rate for targets while participants in the neutral condition decreased their acceptance rates and participants in the negative condition kept their target rates consistent.
False Memory; Emotion; Fuzzy-Trace Theory