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Title: Priming insights : the adaptive functions of false memories
Author: Garner, Sarah
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2013
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Previous research has suggested that false memories can prime performance on related implicit and explicit memory tasks. The present thesis first aimed to examine whether false memories can have similar functions to those proposed for true memories and whether they can be used to prime higher order cognitive processes, namely, insight-based problem-solving. In a series of experiments, a false memory priming paradigm was developed in which participants were asked to solve a number of compound remote associate task (CRAT) problems, half of which had been primed by the presentation of Deese/Roediger-McDermott (DRM) lists whose critical lure was also the solution to the problem. The results showed that when the critical lure was falsely recalled, eRA T problems were solved more often and significantly faster than problems that were not primed by a DRM list, or when the critical lure was not falsely recalled. The results also successfully pinpointed the locus of this false memory priming effect to the study phase of the paradigm and extended the paradigm to recognition measures of memory. The adaptive nature of false memories was also explored using the paradigm, demonstrating that when more than one answer is possible to solve a problem, false memories are capable of biasing problem solution choice towards the critical lure. Results showed that when the critical lure was falsely recalled, solutions to eRA T problems were significantly biased towards the critical lure solution, when this answer was ordinarily the non-dominant solution. In a final experiment, the paradigm was extended to an incidental processing task, with results showing that false memories created out of survival processing are better at priming eRA T problems than those from neutral processing. The implications of these results are discussed with regard to the previous literature and theories underlying both priming and false memories as well as the adaptive functions of false memories.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available