Experimentally evoking nonbelieved memories for childhood events.

TitleExperimentally evoking nonbelieved memories for childhood events.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsOtgaar, H, Scoboria, A, Smeets, T
JournalJ Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn
Date Published2013 May
KeywordsAdult, Analysis of Variance, Chi-Square Distribution, Child, Culture, Female, Humans, Judgment, Male, Mental Recall, Repression, Psychology, Surveys and Questionnaires, Young Adult

We report on the 1st experimental elicitation of nonbelieved memories for childhood events in adults (Study 1) and children (Study 2) using a modified false memory implantation paradigm. Participants received true (trip to a theme park) and false (hot air balloon ride) narratives and recalled these events during 2 interviews. After debriefing, 13% of adults and 15% of children reported nonbelieved memories. While phenomenal ratings were higher for true than for nonbelieved memories immediately after the debriefing, after a month nonbelieved memories behaved as true memories. Also following debriefing, 23% of adults and 15% of children retracted their false memory claims. Prior to debriefing, participants with nonbelieved memories were most likely to indicate remembering the event, whereas participants with false memories who retracted their claim were most likely to endorse believing but not remembering the event. This research suggests that debriefings in previous false memory studies can lead to the development of nonbelieved memories. Additional findings regarding the correspondence between subjective belief, subjective memory, and objective memory judgments prior to and following debriefing are discussed.

Alternate JournalJ Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn
PubMed ID22905934