False memory for words with negative or positive valence

Hajimu HayashiKobe University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine whether there was a difference in false memories between negative and positive contexts by using the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm. Here, 116 undergraduate students listened to eight lists of 15 words. Half of the lists consisted of words with negative valence, and the remaining four lists consisted of words with positive valence. Each list was composed of associates of one non-presented word, i.e. a critical lure. Participants also responded the scale for negative rumination. The results demonstrated that the proportion of false recognition of critical lures for words with negative valence was higher than that for words with positive valence. Furthermore, the proportion of false recognition of critical lures for words with negative valence was associated with the intensity of the participants’ negative rumination. These results suggest that more false memories occur for a negative context than for a positive context.

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