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Valence and the development of immediate and long-term false memory illusions

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Mark L. Howe
  • Ingrid Candel
  • Henry Otgaar
  • Catherine Malone
  • Marina C. Wimmer
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2010
Issue number1
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)58-75
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Across five experiments we examined the role of valence in children's and adults' true and false memories. Using the Deese/Roediger-McDermott paradigm and either neutral or negative-emotional lists, both adults' (Experiment 1) and children's (Experiment 2) true recall and recognition was better for neutral than negative items, and although false recall was also higher for neutral items, false recognition was higher for negative items. The last three experiments examined adults' (Experiment 3) and children's (Experiments 4 and 5) 1-week long-term recognition of neutral and negative-emotional information. The results replicated the immediate recall and recognition findings from the first two experiments. More important, these experiments showed that although true recognition decreased over the 1-week interval, false recognition of neutral items remained unchanged whereas false recognition of negative-emotional items increased. These findings are discussed in terms of theories of emotion and memory as well as their forensic implications.