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What Drives False Memories in Psychopathology? A Case for Associative Activation

Otgaar, H., Muris, P., Howe, M. L. and Merckelbach, H. (2017). What Drives False Memories in Psychopathology? A Case for Associative Activation. Clinical Psychological Science, 5(6), pp. 1048-1069. doi: 10.1177/2167702617724424

Abstract

In clinical and court settings, it is imperative to know whether posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression may make people susceptible to false memories. We conducted a review of the literature on false memory effects in participants with PTSD, a history of trauma, or depression. When emotional associative material was presented to these groups, their levels of false memory were raised relative to those in relevant comparison groups. This difference did not consistently emerge when neutral or nonassociative material was presented. Our conclusion is supported by a quantitative comparison of effect sizes between studies using emotional associative or neutral, nonassociative material. Our review suggests that individuals with PTSD, a history of trauma, or depression are at risk for producing false memories when they are exposed to information that is related to their knowledge base.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Publisher Keywords: false memory, psychopathology, PTSD, depression, trauma history, associative activation
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Psychology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/19118
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