Individual differences and processing bias influence on false memories
Mohawk, Kevin D.
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Associative memory distortions are often studied using the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm (Roediger & McDermott, 1995). Past research has found mixed results concerning the relationship between cognitive style (i.e., field independence/dependence; FD/FI) and susceptibility to false memories using the DRM paradigm. Other research has shown that processing style can be biased using a NAVON letter task by instructing individuals to either encode stimuli globally or locally (Weston & Perfect, 2005). For the present study, participants completed a DRM memory task followed by the Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT). Participants were then randomly assigned to either a local or a global bias condition using a NAVON letter task. After completing the NAVON letter task, participants were asked to complete another DRM memory task. Results indicated that there was no difference in true or false memory as a function of cognitive style. When collapsed across cognitive style, biasing also did not result in any differences in true or false memories. However, biasing participants toward a global style resulted in less false memories for both FD and FI participants. FI participants also benefited from local biasing whereas this benefit was not obtained for FD individuals. These unexpected results could possibly be explained by the rigidity of FD individuals; biasing them toward a local style may have caused cognitive interference and hindered performance. FI individuals are more cognitively flexible and therefore benefited from either local or global biasing.
Associative memory distortions
NAVON letter task