Discrete Emotion-Congruent False Memories in the DRM Paradigm.

Research paper by Cassandra E CE Bland, Mark L ML Howe, Lauren L Knott

Indexed on: 15 Jan '16Published on: 15 Jan '16Published in: Emotion (Washington, D.C.)


Research has shown that false-memory production is enhanced for material that is emotionally congruent with the mood of the participant at the time of encoding. So far this research has only been conducted to examine the influence of generic negative affective mood states and generic negative stimuli on false-memory production. In addition, much of the research is limited as it focuses on valence and arousal dimensions, and fails to take into account the more comprehensive nature of emotions. The current study demonstrates that this effect goes beyond general negative or positive moods and acts at a more discrete emotional level. Participants underwent a standard emotion-induction procedure before listening to negative emotional or neutral associative word lists. The emotions induced, negative word lists, and associated nonpresented critical lures, were related to either fear or anger, 2 negative valence emotions that are also both high in arousal. Results showed that when valence and arousal are controlled for, false memories are more likely to be produced for discrete emotionally congruent compared with incongruent materials. These results support spreading activation theories of false remembering and add to our understanding of the adaptive nature of false-memory production. (PsycINFO Database Record