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The importance of material-processing interactions in inducing false memories
Memory &Cognition (2005)
  • Jason C.K. Chan, Washington University in St Louis
  • Kathleen B. McDermott, Washington University in St Louis
  • Jason M. Watson, Washington University in St Louis
  • David A. Gallo, Harvard University

Deep encoding, relative to shallow encoding, has been shown to increase the probability of false memories in the Deese/Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm (Thapar & McDermott, 2001; Toglia, Neuschatz, & Goodwin, 1999). In two experiments, we showed important limitations on the generalizability of this phenomenon; these limitations are clearly predicted by existing theories regarding the mechanisms underlying such false memories (e.g., Roediger, Watson, McDermott, & Gallo, 2001). Specifically, asking subjects to attend to phonological relations among lists of phonologically associated words (e.g.,weep, steep, etc.) increased the likelihood of false recall (Experiment 1) and false recognition (Experiment 2) of a related, nonpresented associate (e.g.,sleep), relative to a condition in which subjects attended to meaningful relations among the words. These findings occurred along with a replication of prior findings (i.e., a semantic encoding task, relative to a phonological encoding task, enhanced the likelihood of false memory arising from a list of semantically associated words), and they place important constraints on theoretical explanations of false memory.

Publication Date
April, 2005
Publisher Statement
This is a manuscript of an article from Memory & Cognition 33 (2005): 389, doi:10.3758/ BF03193057. Posted with permission. The final publication is available at Springer via
Citation Information
Jason C.K. Chan, Kathleen B. McDermott, Jason M. Watson and David A. Gallo. "The importance of material-processing interactions in inducing false memories" Memory &Cognition Vol. 33 Iss. 3 (2005)
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