Believing details known to have been suggested
Philip A. Higham
In 2 experiments, participants viewed a videotape of a simulated armed
robbery, later answered misleading questions about it, and then finally
completed a source monitoring test. For the test, participants were asked
to indicate for each test item whether it was (1) seen in the video only,
(2) read about in the questions only, (3) both seen and read about, (4)
not remembered or (5) known to have occurred but the source was unclear.
The latter response category was included on the test to remove source
guessing and to ensure that attributions to "video," "questions" or "both"
were caused by false conscious recollection. In Experiment 1, robust misinformation
effects were obtained with both 1 and 48 hour delays between receiving
misinformation and the memory test. However, suggested objects were more
likely to receive "video only" attributions than nonsuggested objects only
at long delay. Experiment 2 verified that it was the delay between receiving
the misinformation and the test, and not the delay between viewing the
video and receiving the misinformation, that determined the effect of delay.
The results are explained by assuming that, at short delay, participants
remembered reading about the suggested objects and could discount the "video
only" category. However, despite accurately remembering the source of suggested
information, the misinformation effect as measured by "both" responses
was not diminished. Thus, accurate knowledge regarding the source of suggestion
does not necessarily reduce false memory.
To obtain a copy of this manuscript, please contact:
Dr. Philip A. Higham
School of Psychology
University of Southampton
ENGLAND, SO17 1BJ
phone: +44 (0)23 8059 5942
fax: +44 (0)23 8059 4597