False recognition in DRM lists with low associationA normative study

  1. Sara Cadavid
  2. María Soledad Beato
Psicológica: Revista de metodología y psicología experimental

ISSN: 1576-8597

Year of publication: 2017

Volume: 38

Issue: 1

Pages: 133-147

Type: Article

More publications in: Psicológica: Revista de metodología y psicología experimental


A wide array of studies have explored memory distortions with the Deese/Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm, where participants study lists of words (e.g., door, glass, pane, shade, ledge, etc.) that are associated to another nonpresented critical word (e.g., WINDOW). On a subsequent memory test, the critical word is often falsely recalled and recognized, even though the critical word was not studied. The present normative study provided false recognition indexes for 48 DRM lists in Spanish with three critical words per list. Lists were constructed with low levels of backward associative strength (BAS), never examined before. Results showed that, even with low association, DRM lists were able to produce false recognition (M = 34%). Also, and despite the low level of association, results showed that there was a wide variability in false recognition per list (e.g., 10% in List 24: ANIMAL [ANIMAL], GATO [CAT], PERRO [DOG], celo [heat], cola [tail], manso [docile], peludo [furry], zarpa [claw], presa [prey]; 62% in List 05: DOLOR [PAIN], MUERTE [DEATH], TRISTEZA [SADNESS], odio [hatred], hambre [hunger], inanición [starvation], morir [to die], huérfano [orphan], consolado [consoled]), replicating previous findings. These new DRM lists will allow researchers to explore false memory effects when words are weakly associated among them.

Funding information

This study was partially conducted at Psychology Research Centre (UID/PSI/01662/2013), University of Minho, and supported by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology and the Portuguese Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education through national funds and co-financed by FEDER through COMPETE2020 under the PT2020 Partnership Agreement (POCI-01-0145-FEDER-007653). Also, this work was partially conducted at the Faculty of Psychology, University of Salamanca (Spain) (FPI-USAL-10). The authors report no financial interests or potential conflicts of interest.


    • FPI-USAL-10

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