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Simulation, false memories, and the planning of future events.

Dewhurst, Stephen A.; Anderson, Rachel J.; Grace, Lydia; Howe, David

Authors

Dr Rachel Anderson Rachel.Anderson@hull.ac.uk
Reader/Programme Director Psychology PG Research (PhD, MSc by Research, MRes)/ ESRC White Rose DTP Deputy Director - Wellbeing, Health & Communities Pathway

Lydia Grace

David Howe



Abstract

Three experiments investigated the relationship between future thinking and false memories. In Experiment 1, participants remembered familiar events (e.g., a holiday) from their past, imagined planning the same events in the future, or took part in a control condition in which they visualized typical events. They then rated a series of schema-related and schema-unrelated nouns for how likely they were to be encountered within those events. In a surprise recognition test, participants in the future condition falsely recognized more schema-related items than participants in the past and control conditions. No reliable effects of rating condition were observed in correct recognition. Experiment 2 found the same pattern when participants imagined unfamiliar events (e.g., taking part in a bank robbery) from past or future perspectives. Participants in Experiment 3 remembered a past or imagined a future holiday and were then instructed to generate items that someone might take on a holiday. Participants in the future condition generated more nonstudied items and fewer studied items relative to participants in the past condition. The findings of Experiments 1 and 2 indicate that simulating future events enhances the activation of related items that gives rise to false memories. The findings of Experiment 3 suggest that these activation processes play an adaptive role in guiding the planning of future events.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2019-01
Print ISSN 1939-1285
Electronic ISSN 0278-7393
Publisher American Psychological Association
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 45
Issue 1
Pages 26-36
APA6 Citation Dewhurst, S. A., Anderson, R. J., Grace, L., & Howe, D. (2019). Simulation, false memories, and the planning of future events. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 45(1), 26-36. https://doi.org/10.1037/xlm0000575
DOI https://doi.org/10.1037/xlm0000575
Keywords False memory; Future thinking; Simulation; Planning
Publisher URL http://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Fxlm0000575
Copyright Statement ©American Psychological Association, 2018. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at the DOI link in this record.

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Copyright Statement
©American Psychological Association, 2018. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at the DOI link in this record.



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