Creating illusions of past encounter through brief exposure: Research report

Published

Journal Article

Titchener (1928) suggested that briefly glancing at a scene could make it appear strangely familiar when it was fully processed moments later. The closest laboratory demonstration used words as stimuli, and showed that briefly glancing at a to-be-judged word increased the subject's belief that it had been presented in an earlier study list (Jacoby & Whitehouse, 1989). We evaluated whether a hasty glance could elicit a false belief in a prior encounter, from a time and place outside of the experiment. This goal precluded using word stimuli, so we had subjects evaluate unfamiliar symbols. Each symbol was preceded by a brief exposure to an identical symbol, a different symbol, or no symbol. A brief glance at an identical symbol increased attributions to preexperimental experience, relative to a glance at a different symbol or no symbol, providing a possible mechanism for common illusions of false recognition. © 2009 Association for Psychological Science.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Brown, AS; Marsh, EJ

Published Date

  • May 1, 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 20 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 534 - 538

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-9280

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0956-7976

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02337.x

Citation Source

  • Scopus