Effect of visual imagery on false memories in DRM and Misinformation paradigms
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Description: The present study is an extension of recent research, which examined the possibility that false memories in the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm predict the occurrence of false memories in misinformation paradigm. We hypothesized that if false memories in these paradigms rely on common mechanisms, then factors known to reduce false memories in the DRM task should also decrease false memories in the misinformation task. The purpose of the present study was to determine in which extent an imaging instruction reduces false memories in DRM and Misinformation paradigms. A sample of young adults completed the DRM for one part of them and the misinformation task for another part, either in control conditions or in conditions including an imaging instruction. Findings confirmed that an imaging instruction reduced false memories in DRM whereas it was not possible to conclude about such a reduction in the misinformation task. Moreover, in the DRM task, the imaging condition reached false memories rates that were as weak as in the misinformation task. Overall, this pilot study lets suppose that the nature of the task in each paradigm gives rise to quality differences in encoding processes, which in turn have consequences on the monitoring process at retrieval, leading to a weaker misinformation effect than DRM false recognition. In conclusion, while one has argued that the monitoring process was common to both paradigms, its reliability likely depends on a variety of factors such as the encoding context, the nature of stimuli and the kind of learning tasks. Therefore, false memories in the DRM paradigm would be based on semantic association of words that is, on activation processes in semantic memory. However, misinformation would rather rely on recollection in episodic memory. Nevertheless, this hypothesis should be specifically tested in further experiments.