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Poster D61

Generalization Ability in Memory and the DRM Paradigm

Poster Session D - Monday, April 15, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Cheyna Warner1, Lea Frank1, Dagmar Zeithamova1; 1University of Oregon

In day-to-day life, individuals are able to extrapolate learned information and generalize it for application to new events. The Deese, Roediger and McDermott (DRM) paradigm has been designed to induce false memory, thought to result from the extraction of a “gist”, or generalization, across related information. Participants are presented with semantically related word lists and asked to recall them later. False memory manifests by recall of critical lures: items that are semantically related to the list items but never presented. In the existing literature, false alarms in the DRM are sometimes considered a form of generalization. However, endorsement of semantically related lures may also be caused by a lack of specificity in the memory trace. The current study sought to understand how false alarm rates in the DRM relate to generalization ability versus the ability to remember differentiating details . A sample of 95 healthy young adults were assessed on their relational generalization and similarity-based generalization abilities using an acquired equivalence task and a prototype learning task, respectively. Results showed that individual differences in false alarm rates were unrelated to either type of generalization. Instead, participants with higher rates of false alarm in the DRM also performed worse on measures of memory specificity , such as confusing in memory two similar animals or confusing repeated and recombined association. The findings suggest that a lack of specificity in memory is responsible for the manifestation of high false alarm rates in the DRM as is not related to other forms of generalization.

Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Episodic


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April 13–16  |  2024