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Recollections of true and false autobiographical memories.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date1996
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: General
Journal number1
Volume125
Number of pages27
Pages69-95
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Two diarists recorded true and false events and thoughts over a period of 5 months. In recognition tests taken 7 months later, they discriminated between true and false diary entries and judged their state of memory awareness as recollective experience, feeling of familiarity, or no distinct state of awareness. Correct recognition rates for true events and thoughts were high. Events were associated with recollective experience and thoughts with feelings of familiarity. Incorrect recognition was higher for thoughts than events. False memories were associated with familiarity or no distinct state of awareness. For correct memories of events only, factors influencing encoding (importance, consequentiality, etc.) interacted with state of memory awareness at retrieval. The quality of phenomenal experience, based on the associations between encoding and retrieval, may be critical in leading a remeberer to accept a memory as true.