Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 752–756 | Cite as

Do you remember proposing marriage to the Pepsi machine? False recollections from a campus walk

  • John G. Seamon
  • Morgan M. Philbin
  • Liza G. Harrison
Brief Reports


During a campus walk, participants were given familiar or bizarre action statements (e.g., “Check the Pepsi machine for change” vs. “Propose marriage to the Pepsi machine”) with instructions either to perform the actions or imagine performing the actions (Group 1) or to watch the experimenter perform the actions or imagine the experimenter performing the actions (Group 2). One day later, some actions were repeated, along with new actions, on a second walk. Two weeks later, the participants took a recognition test for actions presented during the first walk, and they specified whether a recognized action was imagined or performed. Imagining themselves or the experimenter performing familiar or bizarre actions just once led to false recollections of performance for both types of actions. This study extends previous research on imagination inflation by demonstrating that these false performance recollections can occur in a natural, real-life setting following just one imagining.


False Memory False Recognition Source Monitoring Familiar Action Imagination Inflation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • John G. Seamon
    • 1
  • Morgan M. Philbin
    • 1
  • Liza G. Harrison
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentWesleyan UniversityMiddletown

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