Psicothema was founded in Asturias (northern Spain) in 1989, and is published jointly by the Psychology Faculty of the University of Oviedo and the Psychological Association of the Principality of Asturias (Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos del Principado de Asturias).
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The role of backward associative strength in false recognition of DRM lists with multiple critical words

María Soledad Beato1 and Jason Arndt2

1 University of Salamanca and
2 Middlebury College (USA)

Background: Memory is a reconstruction of the past and is prone to errors. One of the most widely-used paradigms to examine false memory is the Deese/Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm. In this paradigm, participants studied words associatively related to a non-presented critical word. In a subsequent memory test critical words are often falsely recalled and/or recognized. Method: In the present study, we examined the influence of backward associative strength (BAS) on false recognition using DRM lists with multiple critical words. In forty-eight English DRM lists, we manipulated BAS while controlling forward associative strength (FAS). Lists included four words (e.g., prison, convict, suspect, fugitive) simultaneously associated with two critical words (e.g., CRIMINAL, JAIL). Results: The results indicated that true recognition was similar in high-BAS and low-BAS lists, while false recognition was greater in high-BAS lists than in low-BAS lists. Furthermore, there was a positive correlation between false recognition and the probability of a resonant connection between the studied words and their associates. Conclusions: These findings suggest that BAS and resonant connections influence false recognition, and extend prior research using DRM lists associated with a single critical word to studies of DRM lists associated with multiple critical words.

Papel de la fuerza asociativa inversa en el reconocimiento falso empleando listas DRM con múltiples palabras críticas. Antecedentes: la memoria es reconstructiva y puede estar sujeta a errores. El paradigma más ampliamente utilizado para estudiar las memorias falsas es el paradigma Deese/Roediger-McDermott (DRM). En este paradigma se estudian palabras relacionadas con una palabra crítica no presentada, posteriormente recordándose y/o reconociéndose falsamente esta palabra crítica. Método: se analizó la influencia de la fuerza asociativa inversa (Backward Associative Strength, BAS) sobre el reconocimiento falso utilizando listas DRM con múltiples palabras críticas. Para ello se construyeron 48 listas DRM en inglés, manipulando el BAS mientras se controlaba la fuerza asociativa directa (Forward Associative Strength, FAS). Las listas incluían cuatro palabras (e.g., prison, convict, suspect, fugitive) asociadas simultáneamente con dos palabras críticas (e.g., CRIMINAL, JAIL). Resultados: el reconocimiento correcto era similar en las listas con alto y bajo BAS, mientras que el reconocimiento falso era mayor en las listas con alto BAS. Además, había una correlación positiva entre reconocimiento falso y la probabilidad de conexión resonante entre las palabras estudiadas y sus asociados. Conclusiones: los resultados confirman que el BAS y las conexiones resonantes afectan al reconocimiento falso, y amplían las conclusiones de anteriores estudios que empleaban listas con una palabra crítica al estudio de listas DRM con múltiples palabras críticas.


Impact factor 2022:  JCR WOS 2022:  FI = 3.6 (Q2);  JCI = 1.21 (Q1) / SCOPUS 2022:  SJR = 1.097;  CiteScore = 6.4 (Q1)