Intentionally fabricated autobiographical memories

Article English OPEN
Justice, L.V. ; Morrison, C.M. ; Conway, M. A. (2016)

Participants generated both autobiographical memories (AMs) that they believed to be true and intentionally fabricated autobiographical memories (IFAMs). Memories were constructed while a concurrent memory load (random 8-digit sequence) was held in mind or while there was no concurrent load. Amount and accuracy of recall of the concurrent memory load was reliably poorer following generation of IFAMs than following generation of AMs. There was no reliable effect of load on memory generation times; however, IFAMs always took longer to construct than AMs. Finally, replicating previous findings, fewer IFAMs had a field perspective than AMs, IFAMs were less vivid than AMs, and IFAMs contained more motion words (indicative of increased cognitive load). Taken together, these findings show a pattern of systematic differences that mark out IFAMs, and they also show that IFAMs can be identified indirectly by lowered performance on concurrent tasks that increase cognitive load.
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