Creating non-believed memories for recent autobiographical events

Clark, Andrew; Nash, Robert A.; Fincham, Gabrielle and Mazzoni, Giuliana (2012). Creating non-believed memories for recent autobiographical events. PLoS ONE, 7 (3),

Abstract

A recent study showed that many people spontaneously report vivid memories of events that they do not believe to have occurred [1]. In the present experiment we tested for the first time whether, after powerful false memories have been created, debriefing might leave behind nonbelieved memories for the fake events. In Session 1 participants imitated simple actions, and in Session 2 they saw doctored video-recordings containing clips that falsely suggested they had performed additional (fake) actions. As in earlier studies, this procedure created powerful false memories. In Session 3, participants were debriefed and told that specific actions in the video were not truly performed. Beliefs and memories for all critical actions were tested before and after the debriefing. Results showed that debriefing undermined participants' beliefs in fake actions, but left behind residual memory-like content. These results indicate that debriefing can leave behind vivid false memories which are no longer believed, and thus we demonstrate for the first time that the memory of an event can be experimentally dissociated from the belief in the event's occurrence. These results also confirm that belief in and memory for an event can be independently-occurring constructs.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0032998
Divisions: Life & Health Sciences
Related URLs:
Additional Information: © 2012 Clark et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all),Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all),Medicine(all)
Published Date: 2012-03-09

Download

[img]

Version: Submitted Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

Export / Share Citation


Statistics

Additional statistics for this record