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Exploring the Consequences of Nonbelieved Memories in the DRM Paradigm

Otgaar, H., Moldoveanu, G., Wang, J. & Howe, M. L. (2016). Exploring the Consequences of Nonbelieved Memories in the DRM Paradigm. Memory, 25(7), pp. 922-933. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2016.1272701


In the current experiments, we attempted to elicit nonbelieved memories (NBMs) using the Deese/Roediger–McDermott (DRM) false memory paradigm. Furthermore, by using this approach, we explored the consequences of nonbelieved true and false memories. In Experiments 1 and 2, participants received several DRM wordlists and were presented with a recognition task. After the recognition task, participants’ statements were contradicted by giving them feedback about true and false items. In this way, we succeeded in eliciting nonbelieved true and false memories. In Experiment 2, participants were also involved in a modified perceptual closure task after receiving belief-relevant feedback. In this task, participants received degraded visual representations of words (e.g., false and true) that became clearer over time. Participants had to identify them as fast as possible. We also measured dissociation, compliance, and social desirability. We found that undermining belief had contrasting consequences for true and false memories. That is, nonbelieved true memories were identified more slowly whereas nonbelieved false memories were identified more quickly. We did not find any relation between our individual differences measures and the formation of NBMs.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Publisher Keywords: Nonbelieved memories, autobiographical belief, false memory, DRM
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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