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Beyond the text: illusions of recollection caused by script-based inferences

Dewhurst, Stephen A.; Holmes, Selina J.; Swannell, Ellen R.; Barry, Christopher

Authors

Selina J. Holmes

Ellen R. Swannell

Christopher Barry



Abstract

Three experiments investigated memory distortions produced by scripts activated when hearing a story. In Experiment 1, participants heard a story with one of two alternative titles. At test, the words that were falsely recognised varied according to the title of the story, though the story itself was the same for all participants. Experiment 2 replicated this effect and found that words rated as central to a script were more likely to be falsely recognised than words rated as peripheral. Participants in Experiment 3 heard a cryptic story with a disambiguating title presented either before, after, or not at all. Script-based errors were observed only in participants given the title before the story. In all three experiments, falsely recognised words were frequently categorised as "remember" responses, based on illusory conscious recollection. These findings show that inferences produce a powerful illusion of memory that is not simply due to verbal associations.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Mar 1, 2008
Journal EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY
Print ISSN 0954-1446
Electronic ISSN 1464-0635
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 20
Issue 2
Pages 367-386
APA6 Citation Dewhurst, S. A., Holmes, S. J., Swannell, E. R., & Barry, C. (2008). Beyond the text: illusions of recollection caused by script-based inferences. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 20(2), (367-386). doi:10.1080/09541440701482551. ISSN 0954-1446
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/09541440701482551
Keywords Creating false memories; Recognition; Memory; Decision-processes
Publisher URL https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09541440701482551