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Memory. 2012;20(3):254-65. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2012.654798. Epub 2012 Feb 27.

Memory conformity affects inaccurate memories more than accurate memories.

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1
Psychology Department, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33199, USA. dwright@fiu.edu

Abstract

After controlling for initial confidence, inaccurate memories were shown to be more easily distorted than accurate memories. In two experiments groups of participants viewed 50 stimuli and were then presented with these stimuli plus 50 fillers. During this test phase participants reported their confidence that each stimulus was originally shown. This was followed by computer-generated responses from a bogus participant. After being exposed to this response participants again rated the confidence of their memory. The computer-generated responses systematically distorted participants' responses. Memory distortion depended on initial memory confidence, with uncertain memories being more malleable than confident memories. This effect was moderated by whether the participant's memory was initially accurate or inaccurate. Inaccurate memories were more malleable than accurate memories. The data were consistent with a model describing two types of memory (i.e., recollective and non-recollective memories), which differ in how susceptible these memories are to memory distortion.

PMID:
22364195
DOI:
10.1080/09658211.2012.654798
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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