False memories for highly aversive early childhood events: Effects of guided imagery and group influence.

TitleFalse memories for highly aversive early childhood events: Effects of guided imagery and group influence.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsHerndon, P, Myers, B, Mitchell, K, Kehn, A
JournalPsychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice
Volume1
Issue1
Pagination20-31
Date PublishedMar 2014
Abstract

We examined false memories for a suggested experience of an early childhood medical procedure. A total of 99 college undergraduates were randomly assigned to one of four conditions that crossed guided imagery with group influence. Guided imagery and group influence significantly affected the likelihood that participants generated a false memory report. Only group influence produced significant differences in perceptions of the memory (e.g., confidence and clarity) as well as perceptions of the memory recovery experience (e.g., pressure to report). Although guided imagery and group influence failed to significantly interact, the combination of guided imagery and group influence led 75% of participants to report a false memory that contained details about the event not initially suggested. The implications for the iatrogenic creation of false memories and the recovered memory debate are discussed. 

DOI10.1037/cns0000011