Investigating false memories. Are fear memories different?
(2015) Investigating false memories. Are fear memories different?, no. 65.
The primary aim of this present study was to investigate the effects of emotion on a false memory paradigm, exploring specifically whether a fear emotion or a sadness emotion will have more of an effect on false memory. 61 participants, 20 males and 41 females were recruited through opportunistic sampling. Participants watched two film clips, which order was counterbalanced, one eliciting the emotion of sadness and the other the emotion of fear. After each film clip, the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm (Roediger and McDermott, 1995) was administered to each participant to examine levels of false recall in each condition. Thirty-six lists were used all fifteen words long and were categorized into list types. Main findings suggest that participants falsely recalled more overall critical lures in the sad condition compared to the fear condition. More over, participants falsely recalled more film related critical lures in the two conditions than any other list type. The present study concludes that fear memories may be different to memories for sad emotions however for a better understanding of why, additional research is needed into the area. This study provides further evidence that subjects will confidently recall and recognise words that were not presented. The implications of the results of this study are discussed in relation to future research. Keywords: False memory, DRM procedure, emotion, fear, sadness, films