Year of Publication

2015

Season of Publication

Fall

Paper Type

Master's Thesis

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Arts in General Psychology (MAGP)

Department

Psychology

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Juliana Leding

Second Advisor

Dr. Michael Toglia

Department Chair

Dr. Lori Lange

College Dean

Dr. Barbara A. Hetrick

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of false memories and Need for Cognition (NFC). The relationship was examined using a typical misinformation paradigm where participants viewed a video clip which depicted a museum burglary and were later presented with an auditory narrative that contained misleading information about the video they previously saw. Half of the participants were exposed to warnings of misinformation. Additionally, the effect of question type (e.g., central, peripheral, and neutral) was taken into account. A main effect for NFC was found indicating that high NFC individuals had fewer false memories for the originally witnessed event than low NFC individuals. It was also found that memory for central details was better than for peripheral details. Furthermore, an interaction between warning and question type showed that when a warning was present, memory for the misleading peripheral details was stronger. Overall, the results demonstrate that there is a difference between high and low NFC individuals and the way memory is processed in the misinformation paradigm. Additionally, the results of this study reaffirm the notion that post-event information can hinder an eyewitness’s memory for an original event.

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