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British Journal of Psychology (2007), 98, 1–13 q 2007 The British Psychological Society

The British Psychological Society
www.bpsjournals.co.uk

Does collaborative remembering reduce false memories?
Masanobu Takahashi*
University of the Sacred Heart, Japan
Collaborative remembering refers to recall by groups rather than by an individual. Three experiments investigated whether, relative to individual remembering, collaborative remembering decreased correct recall and false recall using the DeeseRoediger-McDermott paradigm. Participants were first asked to study and recall five lists of 15 words that were each semantically associated with a critical non-presented word. Half the participants recalled the words by themselves, while the remaining half were assigned to pairs and collaboratively recalled the words. In Experiment 1, pairs produced the same number of false or correct words as individuals who were tested alone. In Experiment 2, the interpersonal closeness of the groups was also manipulated: friends and pairs who were not friends were assigned to the collaborative groups. Both friends and non-friends produced fewer false or correct words than individuals. Experiment 3, in which the performance of the individuals and non-friend pairs were compared using a recall test of the same 75 words as the previous experiments, replicated the results of Experiment 2. These results are discussed in terms of the retrieval-strategy disruption.

Some recent studies of memory have concentrated on social aspects, and have involved two people talking of shared experiences (Edwards & Middleton, 1986). Collaborative remembering refers to this type of remembering (see for reviews, Clark & Stephenson, 1989; Hartwick, Sheppard, & Davis, 1982; Weldon, 2000). When we consider the overall correct performance, many studies show that groups of two or more always recall more than an individual (Basden, Basden, Bryner, & Thomas, 1997; Meudell, Hitch, & Boyle, 1995; Meudell, Hitch, & Kirby, 1992; Weldon & Bellinger, 1997). However, recent researchers prefer to compare the performance of collaborative with that of nominal groups to allow for a statistical comparison (Basden et al., 1997; Weldon & Bellinger, 1997). Performance of nominal groups (the sum of the recall of each individual) is determined by pooling the non-redundant recalls of individual working alone. Thus, the performance of nominal groups represents the level of productivity one would expect if group interaction neither facilitated nor inhibited
*Correspondence should be addressed to Masanobu Takahashi, Department of Psychology, University of the Sacred Heart, Hiroo 4-chome 3-1, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 1508938, Japan (e-mail: mtakahas@u-sacred-heart.ac.jp).
DOI:10.1348/000712606X101628

. the retrieval-strategy disruption interpretation – posits that a participant’s preferred retrieval strategy can be disrupted by giving a subset of the list items during recall (Basden & Basden. Under such a ‘free for all’ recall procedure. but can occur with pairs (Andersson & Ro ¨ nnberg. 1995). 2000. 2000. Weldon & Bellinger. 1984. Hitch. 1997. Balota. As a result. Basden. 1955). used an atypical turn-taking recall procedure in which each participant in the collaborative groups had to recall one word per turn. Basden. it is possible to assume that there could involve similar retrieval-strategy inhibition under the part-set cueing and collaborative inhibition (Basden et al. people in collaborative groups might be afraid to make a mistake and so adopt a conservative recall criterion to output words. Roediger.. Thomas. 1995. 1998) has compared collaborative (groups of three people) and nominal (three people tested individually) groups using the DRM paradigm. Roediger & McDermott. In the DRM paradigm. 1998). One largely accepted interpretation – that is. Roediger. 2000). & Watson. 2000). The present experiments were primarily interested in whether. 2000). The typical finding is remarkable levels of false recall and false recognition (see for reviews. In other words. To the best of my knowledge. However. the present experiments used a standard free-recall procedure. Weldon and Bellinger referred to this effect as collaborative inhibition.. it seems reasonable to assume that during such a turn-taking procedure participants in collaborative groups would feel more obligation to contribute and would have a lower threshold for response production than during a standard recall procedure in which each person could talk at will. Yuker. & Souphasith. discussed. only one study (Basden et al. 1995). previous research is not so straightforward. 1997.. Nickerson. the recall of critical non-presented words was equivalent for both kinds of groups. collaborative inhibition occurs with groups of three or more (Basden et al. The present experiments used this DRM paradigm and the collaborative and individual intrusion errors were compared.Copyright © The British Psychological Society Reproduction in any form (including the internet) is prohibited without prior permission from the Society 2 Masanobu Takahashi group productivity. In order to approximate as closely as possible a natural social setting and to expand the generality of their results. Basden. Finlay. Although they observed collaborative inhibition of studied words. although nominal pairs sometimes exhibit no difference from actual pairs (Basden et al. This reasoning is supported by the findings of . As Basden et al. & Henry. collaborative groups should produce less false recalls than individuals. & Meudell. McDermott. 2004). recent researchers have shown that mean intrusion errors for collaborative groups are greater than those for individuals (Basden et al. Roediger & Neeley. The part-set cueing effect refers to the phenomenon that giving a subset of the list items as recall cues inhibits recall of the remaining items (see for reviews. 1952. 1998). One promising explanation for collaborative inhibition is related to a retrieval inhibition process similar to the process that underlies the inhibitory effect of part-set cueing (Basden et al. 1997). Although early researchers found that groups are more accurate than individuals (Perlmutter & de Montmollin. or less. However. Basden. When the performance of nominal and actual groups are compared. Since participants in a collaborative group interact with each other. Typically. Finlay et al. 2001. it is likely that one person could provide a subset of the target items to the other members in the group.. & Robinson. Takahashi & Saito. 1982). 1997. collaborative groups produce more. 1997. when we consider errors. To compare collaborative and individual error rates.. we require high levels of intrusion errors such as those in the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm (Deese. intrusion errors than individuals. individual participants learn lists of words that are each semantically associated with a critical non-presented word. during recall. 1959.. Basden et al. the most interesting result is that collaborative groups recalled less than nominal groups. Finlay et al..

g. 2002). EXPERIMENT 1 Method Participants Participants were 132 female undergraduate students at the University of the Sacred Heart. Roediger & McDermott. and on the basis of the previously discussed Ross et al. Their ages ranged from 18 to 38 years. 1998) and to avoid an effect of mixed-gender groups. However. They were given a partial course credit or volunteered to participate. Finlay et al. 1997). they concluded that collaboration induced individuals to be more conservative in the memory tasks. Since there is some evidence of a gender difference in communication and conversation (Anderson & Leaper. (1998) hypothesized that because members of collaborative groups hear one anothers’ output. remembering items from a shopping list).g. Roediger et al. Given the strength of spreading activation is a function of the total number of activated list words. McDermott. According to the spreading activation account. Kimball & Bjork. Some researchers argue that false memories may be partially created during tests (Marsh. Spencer. some researchers have demonstrated an inhibitory effect of part-set cueing for the critical non-presented words. Reysen & Nairne.. only females participated in the experiment. although they replicated previous findings of collaborative inhibition. the greater number of the associate words in the list should increase the probability of false remembering. Based on the assumption that a similar retrieval-strategy disruption underlies both collaborative inhibition and part-set cueing inhibition (Basden et al.Copyright © The British Psychological Society Reproduction in any form (including the internet) is prohibited without prior permission from the Society Collaborative remembering and false memories 3 Ross.. I hypothesize that collaborative pairs would reduce both correct and false recalls relative to nominal pairs. . 1997. This prediction is supported by several investigators (e. and Perunovic (2004). the critical non-presented word becomes activated as an implicit associate response to its associates in the study list. They found that collaboration reduced memory errors with older couples and familiar memory tasks (e. Spreading activation has been proposed as one explanation for the creation of false memories (Roediger & McDermott. 2004. 1995). & Roediger. They were classmates who had been in the same class for at least 3 months. the greater number of different associate words encountered during collaborative recall should increase false recall.. Basden et al. However. as well as for the presented words in the DRM paradigm (Ba ¨uml & Kuhbandner. 2003. Design The experimental design was a mixed 2 £ 2 factorial ANOVA with the groups (nominal or collaborative pairs) as a between-participants variable and word types (correct or false recalls) as a within-participant variable. Robinson & Roediger. 2001). they found that collaboration did not increase recall of critical non-presented words although it inhibited recall of presented words. (2004) study. On the basis of signal detection analyses. the number of associate words to which they are exposed should be greater than for members of nominal groups. Linardatos. 2002. Lam. 1995. 1998. 2000). Thus. as suggested by the research conducted by Robinson and Roediger (1997).

Smith. That is. after the fifth immediate free recall test. & Bjork. Each participant was assigned either to one of the 33 pairs or as one of the 66 individuals who recalled the material by themselves. 1992. They were told to remember the lists of words which would be presented by an audio tape player and write the last word first and then to recall the remainder in any order. new/forgotten items). They were required to recall the material collaboratively. nominal and collaborative conditions were scored and analysed in a manner similar to Weldon and Bellinger’s (1997) analyses. Each list was recorded on audio tape by a male voice at the rate of one word per second. The nominal pairs in the final test were formed from random combinations of participants who recalled the words by themselves. Second. critical non-presented words). Each list was composed of 15 words related to one critical non-presented word. participants were given another unexpected written free recall test. Participants in the individual recall groups were asked to write down all the words they could remember. Each pair of participants was given a sheet of paper. and to complete one recall sheet. Procedure The experiment consisted of two successive sessions. In the first session. participants were tested in groups of 2 to 10 people. In the second session. Noncritical intrusions.e. After each list the participants were given 2 minutes for an immediate written free recall. First. The order of the five-list presentations was consistent. The correct and false recalls of the nominal pairs were obtained by combining each individual recall and allowing for any redundant items that appeared in both. separate analyses were conducted on data from the first and second free recall tests for the following reasons. . which were relatively rare. All analyses were considered as significant at the p ¼ :05 level or better. they were escorted by the experimenter to separate small rooms to recall the words either individually or collaboratively. Some previous studies (Meudell et al. I cannot make direct comparisons between the immediate and final tests because I do not know how much time was spent on the final free recall test. 1978).Copyright © The British Psychological Society Reproduction in any form (including the internet) is prohibited without prior permission from the Society 4 Masanobu Takahashi Materials All five lists were selected from the materials used by Miyaji and Yama (2002) and had similar structures to those of Roediger and McDermott (1995). However. 1995) compared the first and second recall tests to analyse changes in recall status of particular items (i. the reason for asking the participants for the immediate free recall is because the act of initial recall might enhance later false memories in a final recall test (Roediger & McDermott. the individual recall data were computed for the total number of correct and false recalls for each individual. 1995)..e. To avoid environmental context-dependent effects (cf. Results The individual. No time limit was required to complete the final free recall test which typically took less than 20 minutes. were not analysed because the data of interest were correct and false recalls (i. and one person was asked to volunteer to be the scribe. An auditory cue recall was also recorded after the last word of each list so that the participants had to write down the words immediately. Glenberg.

64Þ ¼ 21:18. MSE ¼ . MSE ¼ . In the immediate test.62 (. Final test The right column of Table 1 presents mean proportions for each word type by each group in the final test. However. Table 1. which is similar to the levels of those observed in Roediger and McDermott (1995). A 2 (groups: nominal or collaborative pairs) £ 2 (word type: correct or false recalls) mixed analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed on the recall scores and revealed that there were no main effects of groups and word type.03.08) . although it is in accordance with Basden et al.72 (. This result is contradictory to the prediction.23) Collaborative . The left column of Table 1 presents mean proportions (the average of the data from 66 individuals) for each word type by each group on five immediate tests.03.28) Final test Nominal .03 and F ð1. although the result is consistent with some previous experiment showing that two-person groups do not recall more than nominal groups (Basden et al. 130Þ ¼ :003. 64Þ ¼ 1:08.61 (. with more false recalls than correct recalls. these results are a failure in finding collaborative inhibition. 130Þ ¼ 2:00. respectively.44 (. :01. nominal pairs and collaborative pairs (Experiment 1) Immediate test Nominal Correct False . 2000).79 (. The two groups of participants were therefore matched on their initial level of recall.Copyright © The British Psychological Society Reproduction in any form (including the internet) is prohibited without prior permission from the Society Collaborative remembering and false memories 5 Immediate test The results from the immediate test were based on individual performance to control for differences between forthcoming pairs.03 and F ð1. Put another way. Discussion These results showed that collaborative pairs did not inhibit correct recalls relative to nominal groups. Similarly. p .65 (. F ð1.17) Collaborative . 130Þ ¼ :68. (1998). . A 2 £ 2 mixed ANOVA was performed on the recall scores.11) .12) .23) Individuals .26) Note.. F ð1. MSE ¼ . MSE ¼ . 59 and 61% of the critical nonpresented words were incorrectly recalled.03. Mean proportions of correct and false recalls in immediate and final tests for individuals.09) . respectively. MSE ¼ . Standard deviations are in parentheses. F ð1. F ð1.64 (. These results show that the collaborative pairs did not recall any more words than the nominal groups. Mean proportion in the immediate test are the average of the data from 66 individuals in each condition.08) . MSE ¼ .58 (. These proportions revealed high levels of false recall for the participants who were tested individually. 64Þ ¼ :05. who indicated that false recall of critical non-presented words was equivalent for collaborative and nominal groups of three people.03.63 (. the false recall of critical non-presented words did not differ between either the collaborative or nominal groups. There was a significant main effect of word type. there was no main effect of groups and interaction between groups and word type. There was no significant interaction between groups and word type.59 (. in a similar manner to the analysis of the immediate test.

EXPERIMENT 2 Method Participants Participants were 132 undergraduate female students at the University of the Sacred Heart. it seems plausible that close friends might produce more effective retrieval cues for each other than do people who are not friends (Andersson & Ro ¨ nnberg. In the present experiment. but with manipulation of the interpersonal closeness of the groups: friends and people who were not friends were assigned to the collaborative groups. 1997). Erber. who were either non-friends or friends. 1991). Results The data were scored and analysed as in Experiment 1. given that most of the participants in the collaborative groups were close friends. The pairs who were strangers had never talked or socialized. the effect of cross-cueing might reduce or eliminate collaborative inhibition. Design The experimental design was a mixed 3 £ 2 factorial ANOVA with the groups (nominal pairs. Materials and procedure The materials and the procedure were identical to that of Experiment 1 except for the pairs. Thus. Forty-four participants were assigned to the individual recall group: during both tests they recalled all the words while alone. most of the participants who formed the collaborative groups were not only classmates but had also been very close friends since elementary school. Based on the assumption that friends produce more effective retrieval cues for each other than do non-friends. All of them volunteered to participate. & Raymond. In fact. The purpose of the second experiment was intended primarily to test the hypothesis of Experiment 1. Close friends share memories and know each others’ retrieval style (cf. The pairs of friends were close friends who had socialized for at least 2 years. Wegner. non-friends or friends) as a between-participants variable and the word types (correct or false recalls) as a within-participant variable.Copyright © The British Psychological Society Reproduction in any form (including the internet) is prohibited without prior permission from the Society 6 Masanobu Takahashi One explanation for the failure to obtain collaborative inhibition is that in the present experiment the pairs were allowed to vary freely. . The remaining 88 were assigned to either of the two types of collaborative recall groups: pairs of people who were not friends or who were friends. we predicted that more collaborative inhibition for non-friend pairs than for friend pairs would be obtained. Their ages ranged from 18 to 24 years. Andersson and Ro ¨ nnberg (1995) found that pairs of friends tend to have less collaborative inhibition than do pairs of people who are not friends. That is.

09) .71 (. 1998. Basden et al. contradictory to the prediction. thus extending them to demonstrate that a close relationship between two people does not affect the inhibition.62 (. respectively. Discussion In contrast to the results of Experiment 1. F ð2.63 (. 1995. 1997).69 (.Copyright © The British Psychological Society Reproduction in any form (including the internet) is prohibited without prior permission from the Society Collaborative remembering and false memories 7 Immediate test The left column of Table 2 presents mean proportions for each word type by each group on the immediate test. groups of friends were no better than non-friends with word recall. MSE ¼ . However.02. collaborative groups recalled less correct recalls than nominal groups. F ð2. F ð2.11) .64 (. In contrast. The results therefore confirmed that collaborative inhibition emerges in associatively related list learning.53 (.03. MSE ¼ . Tukey’s honestly significant difference (HSD) post hoc comparisons indicated that nominal pairs recalled more correct or false recalls than the other two collaborative pairs.02.80 (. As in Experiment 1. Importantly.19) Friends .03..17) Note. which is the material used in the present experiments.03 and F ð1. :01. p . p . 129Þ ¼ :72.07) . 129Þ ¼ 1:34. More importantly. There were significant main effects of groups and word types. 2000.66 (. Thus.23) Individuals . the results are consistent with Andersson and Ro ¨ nnberg’s findings. Final test The right column of Table 2 presents mean proportions for each word type by each group in the final test. F ð2.59 (.09) . :01 and F ð1. nominal pairs and collaborative groups of two people (Experiment 2) Immediate test Nominal Correct False .10) . respectively. The recall scores were analysed with a 3 £ 2 mixed ANOVA in a similar manner to the analysis of the immediate test. MSE ¼ . which did not differ reliably. Standard deviations are in parentheses.24) Friends .24) Non-friends .02.. Weldon & Bellinger. collaborative pairs reduced false recalls relative to nominal pairs as predicted.12) Non-friends . MSE ¼ . Andersson and Ro ¨nnberg (1995) found that friends tended to suffer less from collaborative inhibition than did non-friends in the recall of complex materials such as stories. MSE ¼ . . 63Þ ¼ 8:22. A 3 (groups: nominal. the manipulation of the interpersonal closeness of the groups had no effect on the collaborative inhibition. the results showed collaborative inhibition.60 (.05) . These results fit with previous research (Andersson & Ro ¨ nnberg. There was no significant interaction between groups and word type. Table 2. Of particular interest is that there was no significant interaction between groups and word type.63 (. 63Þ ¼ 1:01. Mean proportion in the immediate test are the average of the data from 44 individuals in each condition.07) . Mean proportions of correct and false recalls in immediate and final tests for individuals. Consequently. Finlay et al.60 (.21) Final test Nominal . the three groups of participants were therefore matched on their initial level of recall.56 (. non-friends or friends) £ 2 (word type: correct or false recalls) mixed ANOVA was performed on the recall scores and revealed that there were no main effects of groups and word type. 129Þ ¼ 3:62. 63Þ ¼ 6:06. MSE ¼ .48 (.

1970). This measure ranges from 2 1. the larger this value is. 63Þ ¼ :06. 1997. in Experiment 2.. 2000). In Experiment 1. & Huebsch. Thus. Thompson. this difference was not significant. who had worked together (collaborative pair) or been formed from random combination (nominal pair) in the final test. Why was collaborative inhibition found in Experiment 2. prior individual testing might make source memory errors more frequent because the participants must keep track of what was presented and what was not. but not in Experiment 1 despite the same procedure as in Experiment 2? Although it is not so clear why the null results emerged in Experiment 1. a different pattern would emerge between pairs of friends and pairs who are not friends. Consistent with this speculation.g. However. In both Experiments 1 and 2. thereby resulting in no evidence for collaborative inhibition. and then computed the sum of five absolute values of the differences between the two people in each pair. 1979). Williams.09. which express the number of pairs of items appearing in the same relative order between the initial presentation and the recall protocol as a proportion of the total number of pairs in the recall. A RO measure of . However. They found less organization in collaborative than individual recall. none that have measured false memory used prior individual tests. One reason that Basden et al. t ð64Þ ¼ 1:77. There was one limitation in the present experiments. the more group members’ organizations are assumed to be dissimilar and susceptible to disruption by the other’s output. If this is so. I could not use their techniques for assessing organization because the participants’ output order in the final test was not recorded in the two experiments. I might attribute the results to differences of retrievalstrategy disruption.00 reflects perfect preservation of relative order. since each participant’s output orders in the five immediate tests were obtained. in Experiment 1. Basden et al.. However. SE ¼ . I used the relative order (RO) measures (Asch & Ebenholz. Latane & Darley. 2000. Weldon. & Harkins. 1962). some researchers have found that experimental manipulations designed to increase the similarity of group members’ retrieval strategies eliminated the collaborative inhibition (Basden et al. I first calculated the five RO measures for each participant. and what they were able to recall on the individual tests. In contrast. with 1. It is well-known that friends.09. The results of Experiment 2 do not support these proposals (see also. although there was no significant difference among the three groups. (1998) .00 representing perfect organization and zero indicating no tendency beyond the chance to recall in an organized fashion. and a measure of 1. (1998) calculated the adjusted ration of clustering (ARC) scores (Roenker. Given that participants might maintain a stable organization of the materials from the immediate to the final recall.00. Blair. Finlay et al. the values were lower for collaborative pairs (M ¼ :70) than for nominal pairs (M ¼ :86). when working alone (Latane ´ unlike people who are unfamiliar with each other. & Brown. 2000). non-friend (M ¼ :80) and friend (M ¼ :81) groups had slightly greater values than the nominal group (M ¼ :78).50 represents random recall. MSE ¼ . and also obtained collaborative inhibition. 1971) as an indicator of subjective organization. less retrieval-strategy disruption might result from partners with more similar organizations due to chance factor. may inhibit social loafing (e. Thus. To determine whether collaboration disrupted mutual retrieval strategies. Thus.Copyright © The British Psychological Society Reproduction in any form (including the internet) is prohibited without prior permission from the Society 8 Masanobu Takahashi One motivational explanation of collaborative inhibition is that of social loafing. F ð2. or that people may not work as hard when they are a member of a group as they would ´.00 to 1. Although some experiments on collaborative memory research have included prior individual testing and some have not. prior individual testing might contribute to false memory. they should make use of it for optimal retrieval.

02. respectively. nominal pairs and collaborative pairs (Experiment 3) Individual Correct False . There were significant main effects of groups and word types. The recall scores were analysed with a 2 £ 2 mixed ANOVA in a similar manner to the analysis of the final test in Experiment 1.59 (. MSE ¼ . Their ages ranged from 18 to 22 years.Copyright © The British Psychological Society Reproduction in any form (including the internet) is prohibited without prior permission from the Society Collaborative remembering and false memories 9 did not find a significant difference might be due to whether there was prior individual testing. MSE ¼ . Results The data were scored and analysed as in previous experiments.07) .07) . Design. These results replicated the basic finding of Experiment 2 in the situation where no prior individual testing was conducted. the purpose of Experiment 3 was to determine whether the basic findings of Experiment 2 would generalize to a situation in which all individual and collaborative pairs were tested only for final recall. :01 and F ð1. :01. . Thus. materials and procedure The design. Mean proportions of correct and false recalls in final test for individuals.29 (. Therefore.02. F ð1. Standard deviations are in parentheses. Final test Table 3 presents mean proportions for each word type by each group in the final test. Table 3.37 (. F ð1.19) Collaborative . the results indicate that nominal pairs had more correct or false recalls than the collaborative pairs.03. Of the participants 40 were assigned to the individual recall group and the remaining 40 to the collaborative recall group. 38Þ ¼ 8:95. All of them volunteered to participate. people who were not friends were assigned to the collaborative group and subjective organization was examined using RO and ARC measures. EXPERIMENT 3 Method Participants Participants were 80 female undergraduate students. 38Þ ¼ 127:60. 38Þ ¼ :96. Of particular interest is that there was no significant interaction between groups and word type.51 (. p .04) .73 (.25) Nominal .20) Note. 75 from the University of the Sacred Heart and the remaining 5 from another university. MSE ¼ . The pairs who were strangers had never talked or socialized. materials and procedure were identical to that of Experiment 1 except that there was only one recall test of the 75 words.23 (. In Experiment 3. p .

02. and the findings obtained from research on the inhibitory effect of part-set cuing. I rule out the possibility that Basden et al. Therefore. These results are nicely consistent with previous research (Andersson & Ro ¨ nnberg. SE ¼ . 2002). Therefore. collaborative inhibition was apparent in both Experiments 2 and 3. the pattern of the results is consistent with the prediction but is inconsistent with the findings of Basden et al. on the basis of the RO measure. both the present data. As noted in the introductory section. SE ¼ . the spreading activation account is not supported by the findings of an inhibitory effect of part-set cueing. Basden et al. RO measures were significantly lower for the collaborative groups (M ¼ :51) than for the nominal groups (M ¼ :56). Why then did collaborative remembering reduce false recalls in the present experiment? In their second experiment. Reysen & Nairne. Similarly. ARC measures showed no significant difference between the nominal groups (M ¼ :52) and the collaborative groups (M ¼ :53). :05. Perhaps the RO measures might be more sensitive than the ARC measures in the present experiment. 2003. However.05. that collaborative groups produced more false memories than nominal groups because the number of associates to which collaborative groups are exposed should be greater than for members of nominal groups. recall of high-taxonomic frequency. Thus. (1998) showed that with categorized lists. Since the words were presented in an auditory format and at a relatively fast rate. The results show that collaborative groups recalled fewer correct or false items than individual groups. 1995. t ð38Þ ¼ :30. 1997). in accordance with the prediction. Basden et al. the results of Experiments 2 and 3 provide strong evidence against the predicted pattern of the spreading activation account.. I obtained the inhibition of false recalls in a collaborative remembering situation. collaborative inhibition was associated with disrupted organization. the participants might have relied more on serial information for subjective organization.. Basden et al.Copyright © The British Psychological Society Reproduction in any form (including the internet) is prohibited without prior permission from the Society 10 Masanobu Takahashi Subjective organization To examine whether collaboration disrupted the retrieval strategies of the two individuals in a group. Finlay et al. GENERAL DISCUSSION The results of the three experiments demonstrate that collaboration affects correct and false recalls in the same ways. I calculated subjective organization as both RO and ARC measures for the final recall test. Discussion The present experiment replicated the results of Experiment 2 and extended them to a situation where there was no prior individual testing. support the view that spreading activation does not play a crucial role in the creation of false memories during a test. t ð38Þ ¼ 2:28. critical non-presented words . Furthermore. Kimball & Bjork. p . 2000. Clearly. However. Weldon & Bellinger. 2002. The average of each organizational measure for the two people in a nominal group served as that group’s corresponding organizational measure. 1998. on the basis of the spreading activation account.’s failure to find a significant difference was due to an influence of prior individual testing. either for the critical nonpresented words or for the presented words in the DRM paradigm (Ba ¨uml & Kuhbandner. (1998) argued. (1998).

1981. I do not rule out that social and motivational factors such as group pressure may influence false memory in collaborative remembering. where. thereby producing more errors. Sex Roles. Meta-analyses of gender effects on conversational interruption: Who. Valencia. However. (1998). discussed. 225–252. thereby producing more false memories. J. In contrast. (1995). group pressure to participate is presumably heightened under a turn-taking recall procedure. In sum. J. Hashtroudi. C. Portions of this research were presented at the 3rd International Conference of Memory. as noted in the introductory section.10610141).Copyright © The British Psychological Society Reproduction in any form (including the internet) is prohibited without prior permission from the Society Collaborative remembering and false memories 11 was greater for collaborative groups than for nominal groups. Thus. 199–211. one possible cognitive explanation for the observed results is that collaboration might affect a reality-monitoring process. in a free-recall procedure the members in the collaborative groups might be afraid to make a mistake and thus adopt a conservative recall criterion to produce words (cf. we do need both cognitive and social factors to understand fully the phenomenon of false memories in collaborative remembering.. Of course. & Davis. if the participants felt group pressure in a situation such as a turn-taking recall procedure (Basden et al. 1998). Andersson. and how. This set-up process could induce participants to focus more attention on their memories and thus evaluate them more carefully. the present experiments used a free-recall procedure in which each person could talk at will. Babara Basden and Jan Andersson for their insightful comments and suggestions. As Basden et al. from the Ministry of Education. 39. I also thank Yuki Kunisada for her assistance with data collections and analyses. 1993). According to the reality monitoring account. Johnson. . 9. Sheppard. what. it can be argued that people in the collaborative pairs might have to set up an optimal retrieval-strategy whenever it is disrupted by the other member’s recall. Hinsz. Science and Culture. Basden et al. This discrepancy may be mainly due to the methodological difference of the recall procedures. Although speculative. In contrast. which refers to discrimination between memories of internally generated information and memories of externally derived information (Johnson & Raye.. Acknowledgements This research was partly supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Japanese Scientific Research (No. when. used a turn-taking recall procedure in which each participant in the collaborative group had to recall one word per turn. J. In a related sense. I thank David Payne. it is assumed that participants falsely recall the critical non-presented words because of a failure to discriminate between those words and externally presented list words.. Perhaps such strong group pressure might force members of collaborative groups to lower their criterion for producing items. & Ro ¨ nnberg. this explanation is quite speculative but may be an interesting direction for future research. Applied Cognitive Psychology. That is. as previously mentioned. References Anderson. July 2001. 1989). participants would adopt a strict monitoring criterion. Vollrath. Such a criterion shift would result in a decrease of false memories in collaborative remembering. Recall suffers from collaboration: Joint recall effects of friendship and task complexity. I am grateful to Henry Roediger and Maryanne Garry for reading and commenting on an earlier draft of this paper. As a result. & Leaper. & Lindsay. K. they might adopt a looser monitoring criterion.

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