Investigating the variability of memory distortion for an analogue trauma

Deryn Strange, Melanie Takarangi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    In this paper, we examine whether source monitoring (SM) errors might be one mechanism that accounts for traumatic memory distortion. Participants watched a traumatic film with some critical (crux) and non-critical (non-crux) scenes removed. Twenty-four hours later, they completed a memory test. To increase the likelihood participants would notice the film's gaps, we inserted visual static for the length of each missing scene. We then added manipulations designed to affect people's SM behaviour. To encourage systematic SM, before watching the film, we warned half the participants that we had removed some scenes. To encourage heuristic SM some participants also saw labels describing the missing scenes. Adding static highlighting, the missing scenes did not affect false recognition of those missing scenes. However, a warning decreased, while labels increased, participants' false recognition rates. We conclude that manipulations designed to affect SM behaviour also affect the degree of memory distortion in our paradigm.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)991-1000
    Number of pages10
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2015


    • Memory distortion
    • Source monitoring
    • Traumatic memory


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