Backward associative strength determines source attributions given to false memories

Document Type


Publication Date



Source attributions for falsely remembered material were investigated in two experiments. A male and a female speaker each presented either an entire word list or half of the items from each of multiple Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) lists commonly used in this paradigm. In the latter condition the tendency of each list half to activate a nonpresented, critical list theme item was manipulated. All of the list halves differed in backward associative strength (BAS), and each was presented by one or the other of the two speakers. In these correlated conditions, when critical items were falsely recognized (Experiments 1 and 2) or recalled (Experiment 2), source attributions were more frequently made to the speaker of the list items with the higher average BAS. This source attribution effect appears to result from the binding of list item source characteristics to activated critical items during encoding, as opposed to being the result of a biased retrieval process. The results are interpreted as consistent with an activation/monitoring account of false memory in the DRM paradigm.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Psychonomic bulletin & review

First Page


Last Page


This document is currently not available here.