Memory & Cognition

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 389–395 | Cite as

The importance of material-processing interactions in inducing false memories

  • Jason C. K. ChanEmail author
  • Kathleen B. McDermott
  • Jason M. Watson
  • David A. Gallo


Deep encoding, relative to shallow encoding, has been shown to increase the probability of false memories in the Deese/Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm (Thapar & McDermott, 2001; Toglia, Neuschatz, & Goodwin, 1999). In two experiments, we showed important limitations on the generalizability of this phenomenon; these limitations are clearly predicted by existing theories regarding the mechanisms underlying such false memories (e.g., Roediger, Watson, McDermott, & Gallo, 2001). Specifically, asking subjects to attend to phonological relations among lists of phonologically associated words (e.g.,weep, steep, etc.) increased the likelihood of false recall (Experiment 1) and false recognition (Experiment 2) of a related, nonpresented associate (e.g.,sleep), relative to a condition in which subjects attended to meaningful relations among the words. These findings occurred along with a replication of prior findings (i.e., a semantic encoding task, relative to a phonological encoding task, enhanced the likelihood of false memory arising from a list of semantically associated words), and they place important constraints on theoretical explanations of false memory.


False Memory False Recognition Critical Word False Recall List 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. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jason C. K. Chan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kathleen B. McDermott
    • 1
  • Jason M. Watson
    • 1
  • David A. Gallo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWashington UniversitySt. Louis

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