Evoking false beliefs about autobiographical experience.
In two experiments, we demonstrate that laboratory procedures can evoke false beliefs about autobiographical experience. After shallowly processing photographs ofreal-world locations, participants returned 1 week (Experiments 1 and 2) or 3 weeks (Experiment 2) later to evaluate whether they had actually visited each of a series of new and old pictured locations. Mundane and unique scenes from an unfamiliar college campus (Duke or SMU) were shown zero, one, or two times in the first session. Prior exposure increased participants' beliefs that they had visited locations that they had never actually visited. Furthermore, participants gave higher visit ratings to mundane than to unique scenes, and this did not vary with exposure frequency or delay. This laboratory procedure for inducing autobiographical false beliefs may have implications for better understanding various illusions of recognition.
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