The recollection of a memory that had never occurred is ordinarily accredited to be false memory. A popular method in testing this anomaly is the Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm. Using this paradigm, this study will attempt to induce false memories in participants using non-appearing, critical word lures, that are semantically related to the words the participant should be attempting to remember, amongst original words, that test true memory and semantically unrelated, distractor words. The purpose of this study is to find whether true recall differs from false recall.
Thirteen participants took part in this experiment. This repeated measures study involved participants completing six trials in a classic DRM construct to find each participants recall percentage for each word type. After participants being presented with each word list of original words, a recognition phase took place where participants would choose from a table of words (containing the three word types mentioned) which words they believed to have recalled.
Susceptibility for false memories has been shown to be facilitated by a schematic knowledge of old and newly established information. This theory has been the subject of multiple studies, designed to test the credibility of these statements (Marcus, 1998).
Deese (1959, as citated by Stadler, Roediger III, & McDermott, 1999), used an experimental study that emcompassed this approach to investigate 'false memories' and how they may be created through associative aspects such as false recall of semantically related words. Deese (1959) used a test of memory which included participants of the study being presented with word lists.
Within this list lay semantically related words in association for the critical word, for example, pin (non-appearing critical lure word) would be followed with a list presenting words such as sharp, metal, sewing, needle, prick, haystack, injection, thread, thimble, pain, hurt, eye.