Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 531–536

The quality of false memory over time: Is memory for misinformation “remembered” or “known”?

Brief Reports

DOI: 10.3758/BF03214367

Cite this article as:
Frost, P. Psychon Bull Rev (2000) 7: 531. doi:10.3758/BF03214367


The conscious quality of eyewitness memory for misinformation after different retention intervals was investigated in two experiments. Participants viewed computer-projected slides depicting a crime (encoding phase), read a narrative containing misinformation, and took a recall test about the original event. Remember/know judgments were made for each response. A “remember” judgment indicated that the participant vividly recalled seeing a detail in the encoding phase. A “know” judgment indicated that the participant believed that a detail was presented but did not vividly remember it. Generally, misinformation was more likely to be associated with a know judgment than with a remember judgment after a short retention interval. This outcome suggests that, in many cases, misleading information is judged as having a different subjective quality than memory for actual events. However, over a relatively long retention interval, misinformation that simply added new information about the event was more often judged as remembered.

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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Behavioral SciencesRivier CollegeNashua