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Transmitting False Memories in Social Groups

Barbara H. Basden, Matthew B. Reysen and David R. Basden
The American Journal of Psychology
Vol. 115, No. 2 (Summer, 2002), pp. 211-231
DOI: 10.2307/1423436
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1423436
Page Count: 21
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Transmitting False Memories in Social Groups
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Abstract

In 2 experiments, subjects studied word lists drawn from Roediger and McDermott (1995) and then participated in perceived group recall (PGR) tests that were intended to lead each subject to believe that she or he was participating in collaborative recall in a 4-person group. Some of the lists were followed by PGR tests containing the nonpresented critical word, some lists were followed by PGR tests not containing the nonpresented critical word, and some lists were not followed by PGR tests. Subjects then completed individually administered recall tests and subsequent immediate or delayed recognition tests that required remember or know judgments. The major finding was that critical words contained within PGR tests were as likely to be falsely recalled, recognized, and consciously remembered as original list items. These findings show that false memories can be socially transmitted.

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