Poster E50, Monday, March 27, 2:30 – 4:30 pm, Pacific Concourse
Reducing Available Working Memory Capacity Affects DRM False Memory
Lilian Cabrera1, Jianjian Qin2; 1University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2California State University, Sacramento
Previous studies have demonstrated the importance of working memory capacity (WMC) as an individual difference factor in source-monitoring and reducing false memory in the Deese-Roediger McDermott (DRM) paradigm (e.g., Watson et al., 2005). In the current study, we further examined the relationship between WMC and false memory by directly manipulating the concurrent cognitive demand in a DRM paradigm. Sixty participants (46 females, age ranged 18 to 37 years) viewed 18 DRM lists. A concurrent digit load task was introduced to reduce available WMC for the DRM task during encoding: Participants held either a 0-digit, 3-digit, or 6-digit sequence in working memory while viewing each list. Additionally, WMC as an individual difference factor (low- vs. high-WMC), and the effect of forewarning participants about the nature of the DRM task prior to encoding (warning instructions: present vs. absent) were examined as between-subjects factors. The results indicated that reduced available WMC (3- vs. 0-digit load) led to higher false recall of critical lures, but only for individuals with high-WMC who were forewarned. Forewarning participants reduced false alarms for critical lures and individuals with high-WMC had marginally fewer false alarms for critical lures compared to individuals with low-WMC. While an initial reduction in available WMC (3- vs. 0-digit load) resulted in higher false alarms for critical lures, further reduction (6- vs. 3-digit load) resulted in lower false alarm rate (inverse U-shaped pattern). The implications of these results for the role of working memory in DRM false memory will be discussed.
Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Working memory