False memory propensity in people reporting recovered memories of past lives

J Abnorm Psychol. 2009 May;118(2):399-404. doi: 10.1037/a0015371.


Are elevated rates of false recall and recognition in the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm associated with false autobiographical memories in everyday life? To investigate this issue, the authors recruited participants who reported improbable memories of past lives and compared their DRM performance with that of control participants who reported having lived only one life (i.e., their current one). Relative to control participants, those reporting memories of past lives exhibited significantly higher false recall and recognition rates in the DRM paradigm, and they scored higher on measures of magical ideation and absorption as well. The groups did not differ on correct recall, recognition, or intelligence. False memory propensity in the DRM paradigm may tap proneness for developing false memories outside the laboratory.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dissociative Disorders / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intelligence*
  • Male
  • Memory*
  • Mental Recall
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Recognition, Psychology
  • Repression, Psychology*
  • Retention, Psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires