Memory impairment and source misattribution in postevent misinformation experiments with short retention intervals

Robert F. Belli, D. Stephen Lindsay, Maria S. Gales, Thomas T. McCarthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

99 Scopus citations


The four experiments reported here provide evidence that (1) misleading postevent suggestions can impair memory for details in a witnessed event and (2) subjects sometimes remember sug-gested details as things seen in the event itself. All four experiments used recall tests in which subjects were warned of the possibility that the postevent information included misleading sug-gestions and were instructed to report both what they witnessed in the event and what was men-tioned in the postevent narrative. Recall of event details was poorer on misled items than on control items, and subjects sometimes misidentified the sources of their recollections. Our re-sults suggest that these findings are not due to guessing or response biases, but rather reflect genuine memory impairment and source monitoring confusions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-54
Number of pages15
JournalMemory & Cognition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1994


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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