Negative mood state impairs false memory priming when problem-solving

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Knott, L. ; Threadgold, E. ; Howe, M. L. (2014)

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of emotional mood states on the ability to create effective primes using the recently developed false memory priming paradigm. A negative or positive mood state was induced before Deese/Roediger-McDermott (DRM) list presentation. A further control group experienced no mood induction. Participants were then presented with Compound Remote Associate Task (CRAT) problems, half of which had been primed by the previous DRM lists whose critical lure was the solution to the CRAT problem. The results of this study showed that induction of a negative mood state not only impaired recall of critical lures but also diminished their effectiveness as primes for solving CRAT problems. In contrast, for both positive mood and control conditions, the false memory priming advantage was evident, with a higher proportion of primed problems solved in comparison to those not primed. Findings are discussed in relation to the role of affect on semantic activation and the adaptive consequences of false memories.
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