Why do doctored images distort memory?


Doctored images can cause people to believe in and remember experiences that never occurred, yet the underlying mechanism(s) responsible are not well understood. How does compelling false evidence distort autobiographical memory? Subjects were filmed observing and copying a Research Assistant performing simple actions, then they returned 2 days later for a memory test. Before taking the test, subjects viewed video-clips of simple actions, including actions that they neither observed nor performed earlier. We varied the format of the video-clips between-subjects to tap into the source-monitoring mechanisms responsible for the 'doctored-evidence effect.' The distribution of belief and memory distortions across conditions suggests that at least two mechanisms are involved: doctored images create an illusion of familiarity, and also enhance the perceived credibility of false suggestions. These findings offer insight into how external evidence influences source-monitoring.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2009.04.011
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences
Additional Information: © 2009, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Uncontrolled Keywords: autobiographical belief,doctored images,fabricated evidence,false memory,familiarity,metacognition,source monitoring,Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
Publication ISSN: 1090-2376
Last Modified: 06 May 2024 07:12
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2015 15:20
Full Text Link: http://epubs.su ... rey.ac.uk/7039/
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2009-09
Published Online Date: 2009-05-27
Authors: Nash, Robert A. (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-2284-2001)
Wade, Kimberley A.
Brewer, Rebecca J.

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