Need for cognition and false memory: Can one's natural processing style be manipulated by external factors?
The purpose of this experiment was to provide an enhanced understanding of need for cognition (NFC) and its influence on one's memory accuracy. People who are high in NFC tend to put more cognitive effort into their mental processes than their low-NFC counterparts. To determine whether one's natural processing tendencies, as determined by NFC, can be influenced by external factors, manipulations to levels of processing were added. Participants viewed word lists from the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm and were instructed to process half of the DRM lists deeply and the other half shallowly. After all the lists were presented, participants completed 3 successive recall tests. The deep processing condition produced higher rates of false memories for both NFC groups than the shallow processing condition. In addition, the high-NFC group produced higher rates of target recall in both the deep and shallow conditions than the low-NFC group. However, the high-NFC group also produced higher rates of false recall for the shallowly processed lists. These data indicate that high-NFC people exhibit enhanced target recall for word lists, which may come at the expense of overall accuracy due to the increase of false recall.
American Journal of Psychology
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Wootan, & Leding, J. K. (2015). Need for Cognition and False Memory: Can One’s Natural Processing Style Be Manipulated by External Factors? The American Journal of Psychology, 128(4), 459–468. https://doi.org/10.5406/amerjpsyc.128.4.0459