City Research Online

Generative processing and emotional false memories: A generation “cost” for negative false memory formation but only after delay

Knott, L. ORCID: 0000-0003-2897-3245, Wilkinson, S., Hellenthal, M. , Shah, D. & Howe, M. L. ORCID: 0000-0002-5747-5571 (2022). Generative processing and emotional false memories: A generation “cost” for negative false memory formation but only after delay. Cognition and Emotion, 36(7), pp. 1448-1457. doi: 10.1080/02699931.2022.2128063


Previous research shows that manipulations (e.g., levels-of-processing) that facilitate true memory often increase susceptibility to false memory. An exception is the generation effect. Using the Deese/Roediger–McDermott (DRM) paradigm, Soraci et al. (2003) found that generating rather than reading list items led to an increase in true but not false memories. They argued that generation led to enhanced item-distinctiveness that drove down false memory production. In the current study, we investigated the effects of generative processing on valenced stimuli and after a delayed retention interval to examine factors that may lead to a generation effect that increases false memories. At immediate test, false recognition rates for both negative and neutral valanced critical lures were similar across read and generate conditions. However, after a one-week delay, we saw a valence differentiation, with a generation effect for false recognition but only for negative stimuli. The roles of item-specific and relational processing during encoding and their interaction with long-term retention are discussed.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2022 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 License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: DRM paradigm; false memories; emotion; generation effect
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of Generative processing and emotional false memories a generation cost for negative false memory formation but only after delay.pdf]
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview
[thumbnail of Knott ... Howe C&E Article In Press.pdf] Text - Accepted Version
This document is not freely accessible due to copyright restrictions.


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login