An associative-activation theory of children's and adults' memory illusions

Howe, Mark L. and Wimmer, Marina C. and Gagnon, Nadine and Plumpton, Shannon (2009) An associative-activation theory of children's and adults' memory illusions. Journal of Memory and Language, 60 (2). pp. 229-251. ISSN 0749-596X

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The effects of associative strength and gist relations on rates of children's and adults' true and false memories were examined in three experiments. Children aged 5-11 and university-aged adults participated in a standard Deese/Roediger-McDermott false memory task using DRM and category lists in two experiments and in the third, children memorized lists that differed in associative strength and semantic cohesion. In the first two experiments, half of the participants were primed before list presentation with gist-relevant cues and the results showed that: (1) both true and false memories increased with age, (2) true recall was higher than false recall for all ages, (3) at all ages, false memory rates were determined by backward associative strength, and (4) false memories varied predictably with changes in associative strength but were unaffected by gist manipulations (category structure or gist priming). in the third experiment, both gist and associative strength were varied orthogonally and the results showed that regardless of age, children's (5) true recall was affected by gist manipulations (semantic cohesion) and (6) false recall was affected by backward associative strength. These findings are discussed in the context of models of false memory illusions and continuities in memory development more generally. (C) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Journal Article
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Journal of Memory and Language
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22 Feb 2012 16:35
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21 Nov 2022 22:05