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The Effect of Limited Attention and Delay on Negative Arousing False Memories

Knott, L. ORCID: 0000-0003-2897-3245 & Shah, D. (2018). The Effect of Limited Attention and Delay on Negative Arousing False Memories. Cognition and Emotion, 33(7), pp. 1472-1480. doi: 10.1080/02699931.2018.1556153


Previous research has shown that, in comparison to neutral stimuli, false memories for high arousing negative stimuli are greater after very fast presentation and limited attention at study. However, full compared to limited attention conditions still produce comparably more false memories for all stimuli types. Research has also shown that emotional stimuli benefit from a period of consolidation. What effect would such consolidation have on false memory formation even when attention is limited at study? The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of fast presentation on false memory production for negatively-arousing and neutral items over time using the DRM paradigm. Sixty-Eight participants studied Negative and neutral DRM lists with fast or slow presentation conditions. Half completed a recognition test immediately and half completed a recognition test after one-week. Results revealed that, for fast presentation, negative critical lures increased after one week and were comparable to negative critical lures in the slow presentation encoding conditions. Neutral critical lures in the fast presentation condition did not change and remained lower compared to the slow presentation condition. These findings are the first demonstration that arousing negative false memories can increase over time when attention at encoding is limited.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Cognition and Emotion, available online:
Publisher Keywords: DRM Paradigm; Attention; False Memory; Emotion; Delay
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
SWORD Depositor:
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