The Effect of Immediate Forced False Responses on Delayed Recognition Memory Accuracy and Confidence Ratings

By Katherine Du Toit, Lindsey Smith and Ira Konstantinou.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Global Studies

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Several studies conducted by Loftus (2003, 867-73; 2004, 145-47; 2005, 361-66) have shown that misleading information presented after a particular event can distort memory accuracy and recognition of the event. Loftus (2003) reveals that misleading information presented to participants after watching a short film clip often results in participants subsequently adopting the misled information as a true memory. The current study employs the misinformation paradigm to investigate the effect of immediate forced false responses on delayed recognition memory accuracy and confidence for a simulated crime scene. It was predicted that forcing participants to make false responses on a multiple-choice questionnaire immediately after viewing the video would decrease delayed memory accuracy in a week-later testing, especially for peripheral compared to central details. Additionally, experimenters predicted low levels of confidence to be correlated with the forced false responses in the initial testing phase and an increase in confidence responses in a week-later testing. The results were highly significant. The implications of these findings for future research on the misinformation effect are discussed in light of the source attribution error hypothesis.

Keywords: False Memory, Eyewitness Testimony, Confidence Ratings

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Global Studies, Volume 8, Issue 3, December 2014, pp.1-16. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 469.927KB).

Katherine Du Toit

Student, Division of Psychology, Richmond, The American International University in London, London, UK

Lindsey Smith

Student, Division of Psychology, Richmond, The American International University in London, London, UK

Dr. Ira Konstantinou

Associate Professor in Psychology, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Richmond, the American International University in London, London, London, UK