An individual differences analysis of false recognition

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Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Two studies with moderately large samples of participants were conducted to examine correlates of false recognition. In Experiment 1 false recognition of words was found to be a robust and reliable phenomenon at the level of individuals, and the tendency to classify critical lures as old was more closely related to the correct classification of old items as old than to the incorrect classification of unrelated new items as old. False recognition was not significantly related to any of the cognitive abilities that were assessed, including episodic memory, or to other factors such as personality and chronic mood. In Experiment 2 these findings were extended to include dot pattern and face stimuli. Although measures of veridical memory were significantly correlated across the different types of stimulus material, false recognition rates only had modest and generally not significant correlations, which suggests that the tendency to produce false recognitions may be a task-specific characteristic of individuals.

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