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Repeated Exposure to Suggestion and False Memory: The Role of Contextual Variability

Authors
Journal
Journal of Memory and Language
0749-596X
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
35
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1006/jmla.1996.0014

Abstract

Abstract Although it has been well established that a single exposure to suggestion can result in the creation of false memories for suggested events, little is known about the effects of repeatedexposure to suggestion. Zaragoza and Mitchell (in press) demonstrated that repeated exposure to postevent suggestion increased subjects’ tendency to misremember witnessing the suggested information. The experiments presented here examined the possibility that increasing contextual variability between the repeated exposures would exacerbate this effect by impairing subjects’ ability to discriminate accurately the precise source of the suggested items. Results from two experiments show that increasing variability by changing surface features (i.e., modality) exaggerated the deleterious effects of repeated exposure to suggestion. Increasing the spacing between exposures (Experiment 2), however, did not have the same effect.

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