An individual differences approach to the suggestibility of memory over time.

Abstract

We examined how certain personality traits might relate to the formation of suggestive memory over time. We hypothesised that compliance and trust relate to initial acceptance of misinformation as memory, whereas fantasy proneness might relate to integration of misinformation into memory after later intervals (relative to the time of exposure to misinformation). Participants watched an excerpt from a movie--the simulated eyewitness event. They next answered a recall test that included embedded misinformation about the movie. Participants then answered a yes/no recognition test. A week later, participants answered a second yes/no recognition test about the movie (each yes/no recognition test included different questions). Before both recognition tests, participants were warned about the misinformation shown during recall and were asked to base their answer on the movie excerpt only. After completing the second recognition test, participants answered questions from the Neuroticism Extroversion Openness Personality Inventory-3 (McCrae, Costa, & Martin, 2005) and Creative Experiences Questionnaire (Merckelbach, Horselenberg, & Muris, 2001). While compliance correlated with misinformation effects immediately after exposure to misinformation, fantasy-prone personality accounted for more of the variability in false recognition rates than compliance after a 1-week interval.

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