Author(s): Storbeck J, Clore GL
The Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm lures people to produce false memories. Two experiments examined whether induced positive or negative moods would influence this false memory effect. The affect-as-information hypothesis predicts that, on the one hand, positive affective cues experienced as task-relevant feedback encourage relational processing during encoding, which should enhance false memory effects. On the other hand, negative affective cues are hypothesized to encourage item-specific processing at encoding, which should discourage such effects. The results of Experiment 1 are consistent with these predictions: Individuals in negative moods were significantly less likely to show false memory effects than those in positive moods or those whose mood was not manipulated. Experiment 2 introduced inclusion instructions to investigate whether moods had their effects at encoding or retrieval. The results replicated the false memory finding of Experiment 1 and provide evidence that moods influence the accessibility of lures at encoding, rather than influencing monitoring at retrieval of whether lures were actually presented.