Two original false memories experiments were conducted by Roediger and McDermott in 1995 to demonstrate the significant levels of the false recall and false recognition associated with learning definite words and recalling non-presented concepts. Two experiments revealed that following the experiments, subjects are inclined to remember not only studied words but also non-presented and non-studied concepts. Roediger and McDermott concluded about the memory illusion as the idea of people’s remembering concepts which they did no study and see previously (Roediger & McDermott, 1995, p. 803).
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The findings suggested that the subjects’ false recall and false recognition could be predicted and avoided with the help of warning the subjects about the effect reported by Roediger and McDermott in 1995. Gallo, Roediger, and McDermott focused on examining the role of warning in predicting the subjects’ false recognition and false recall while discussing the aspect of warning as the criterion shift associated with the subjects’ inclinations to change their approach to recalling the presented items. The follow-up study of 2001 described the new experiment on remembering the presented words with references to the aspect of warning about the studied effect, and it addressed the question of the role of the criterion shift in influencing the people’s false memories (Gallo, Roediger, & McDermott, 2001, p. 579).
Gallo, Roediger, and McDermott addressed the question while asking the participants to study 18 Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) lists. The experiment was conducted in relation to four conditions where the subjects studied the lists in a standard manner according to the first condition. However, according to the other three conditions, the subjects were warned about the effect of false recognition and false recall to research the subjects’ reaction to the criterion shift. The experiment allowed the researchers to focus on the effects of warning after the process of studying the words in order to address to the suggestion about the role of the criterion shift in false recall and false recognition (Gallo, Roediger, & McDermott, 2001, p. 579).
Having conducted the experiment, Gallo, Roediger, and McDermott found that false memories were not significantly caused by the criterion shift in spite of the fact that the subjects were warned about the previously studied effect before recognition and recall tests. Thus, the authors of the research concluded that any changes in the procedure of the subjects’ recognition were associated with the fact that the subjects were warned about the DRM effect before the tests. The subjects tried to avoid false recognition and false recall (Gallo, Roediger, & McDermott, 2001, p. 579). However, following the results on the percentage of words false recognized by the subjects, it is important to note that the focus on the criterion shifts cannot be discussed as the aspect to influence the subjects’ false memories in spite on the idea of warning them about the expected DRM effect.
Gallo, Roediger, and McDermott’s results and evidences support the idea that false memories are not associated with the liberal criterion shifts, and warnings cannot prevent people from false recognition and false recall even if the subjects know about the DRM effect (Gallo, Roediger, & McDermott, 2001, p. 579-580). From this point, researchers used the expanded methodology and patterns in order to support the false memory theory and refer the results to the previous research of 1995 (Roediger & McDermott, 1995, p. 803-804).
Gallo, D., Roediger, H. L., & McDermott, K. (2001). Associative false recognition occurs without strategic criterion shifts. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 8(3), 579-586. Web.
Roediger, H. L., & McDermott, K. (1995).Creating false memories: Remembering words not presented in lists. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 21(4), 803-814. Web.