Memory & Cognition

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 445–457 | Cite as

“If I didn’t write it, why would I remember it?” Effects of encoding, attention, and practice on accurate and false memory

  • John G. Seamon
  • Madeleine S. Goodkind
  • Adam D. Dumey
  • Ester Dick
  • Marla S. Aufseeser
  • Sarah E. Strickland
  • Jeffrey R. Woulfin
  • Nicholas S. Fung


In two experiments involving recall and recognition, we manipulated encoding strategies, attention, and practice in the Deese, Roediger, and McDermott false memory procedure. During the study of auditory word lists, participants listened to the words, wrote the words, wrote the second letter of the words, or counted backward by threes and wrote numbers in time with the words. The results from both experiments showed that, relative to the full-attention hear word condition, the divided-attention write number condition impaired accurate memory, but not false memory. In contrast, the focused-attention write word and write second letter conditions were comparable to the hear word condition in producing accurate memory, yet they were better at reducing false memory. But even after multiple study-test trials, people still falsely recalled or recognized words that they had never written during study. These results are consistent with predictions generated from fuzzy trace theory and the activation/monitoring framework.


Test Trial False Memory Divided Attention False Recognition Word Type 
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. 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • John G. Seamon
    • 1
  • Madeleine S. Goodkind
    • 1
  • Adam D. Dumey
    • 1
  • Ester Dick
    • 1
  • Marla S. Aufseeser
    • 1
  • Sarah E. Strickland
    • 1
  • Jeffrey R. Woulfin
    • 1
  • Nicholas S. Fung
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWesleyan UniversityMiddletown

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