Undergraduate Psychology Research Methods Journal


This study looks at the impact of stress on the creation of these false memories, using the Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm (DRM). A false memory is a memory of an event that never really occurred, but is believed that it occurred by the person remembering it. In a typical DRM study, participants are given a list of words that fall under the same category. When the participants are later asked to recall the words on the list, 40% of the participants recall a word that was not on the list with a high rate of confidence (Roediger & McDermott, 1995). Stress has been linked to the creation of false memories in previous studies. One such study revealed that stress can potentially increase the likelihood of false memory recollection; however another similar study reported stress did not affect the incidence of false memory but, that men were found to falsely recall more words than women. In the present study, half of the participants were given a stress inducing task, which consisted of standing up and completing mental math problems, whereas the other participants were asked to color for 5 min. Following these tasks, the participants were given a DRM task, on the computer. I hypothesized that participants that completed the stress-inducing task will be more likely to show false memory and that men will be more susceptible to the impact of stress on the formation of false memories.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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