The Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm is used to study false memory in humans, for which details, words, or events that were never experienced are falsely remembered as having occurred. Roediger and McDermott (1995) found that false memories can be induced during list learning, resulting in participants “remembering” words that were never presented to them. In the DRM paradigm participants are presented with lists of words to be studied. Each list is made of several words closely associated to a critical, non-presented word (e.g., “sleep” was a critical non-presented word for a list that included “bed,” “rest,” and “awake”). During the following free recall and recognition memory tests, the non-presented word is frequently falsely included as having been on the list, and often was reported with high confidence.

Roediger, H. L., III, & McDermott, K. B. (1995). Creating false memories: Remembering words not presented in lists. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 21, 803-814.

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