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Dawn McBride

Mentor Department



Prior research has investigated the effects of positive vs. negative mood on the production of false memories through the DRM paradigm, a procedure in which participants study list items related to a theme item resulting in false memories for the theme they did not study. Past research has shown that long-term memory false alarms are produced at greater levels among individuals in positive moods than those in negative moods. In the current experiment, we are investigating how mood, induced through music, may influence the production of short-term false memories and whether these false memories are produced at a greater rate in semantically or phonologically related lists. To examine this, participants will be randomly assigned to either a positive or negative mood-induced group. All participants will then study four-item lists of words that are semantically (meaning-based) related or phonologically (lexical-based) related. A single test item will then follow each list and will either be a studied item, unstudied item or a lure item related to all the words in the list. We hypothesize that the results will show that individuals within the positive mood group will produce higher rates of false alarms than the negative mood group; phonological lists will also produce higher levels of false alarms compared to semantic lists, especially in the positive mood condition. Sad mood should create more item specific processing, which reduces false memories for the lures. These results have implications for how negative and positive moods affect false memory.

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