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The role of inhibitory control in the production of misinformation effects

MacLeod, Malcolm and Saunders, Jo (2005) The role of inhibitory control in the production of misinformation effects. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 31 (5). pp. 964-979.

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Abstract

Recent research has indicated a link between retrieval-induced forgetting and the production of misinformation effects (J. Saunders & M. D. MacLeod, 2002). The mechanism underlying this relationship, however, remains unclear. In an attempt to clarify this issue, the authors presented 150 participants with misinformation under conditions designed to promote the activation of inhibitory control during the retrieval of information about a target event. A modified retrieval practice paradigm that used the independent probe method pioneered by M. C. Anderson and B. A. Spellman (1995) revealed that misinformation effects emerged only where misinformation had been introduced about items that had been subject to 1st-order, 2nd-order, or cross-category inhibition. By contrast, misinformation effects failed to emerge where inhibitory processing had not been activated. These findings are discussed in terms of inhibitory control, memory malleability, and their implications for the interviewing of eyewitnesses.