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The role of associative strength in children's false memory illusions

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2009
<mark>Journal</mark>Memory
Issue number1
Volume17
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)8-16
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

The effects of associative strength on rates of 7- and 11-year-old children's true and false memories were examined when category and Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) lists were used to cue the same critical lure. Backward associative strength (BAS) was varied such that the category and DRM lists had the same strength (DRM=category), DRM lists had more BAS (DRMcategory), or category lists had more BAS (DRMcategory). If BAS drives children's false memories then BAS, not the type of relation across items in a list, should determine false memory production. The results confirmed this prediction using both recall and recognition measures: (1) both true and false memories increased with age, (2) true memory was better for category than DRM lists but there were no differences for false memory, and (3) at all ages, false memories varied predictably with changes in BAS but were unaffected by list-type manipulations. These findings are discussed in the context of models of false memory development.