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Associative False Consumer Memory: Effects of Need for Cognition & Encoding Task

Parker, A and Dagnall, N (2017) Associative False Consumer Memory: Effects of Need for Cognition & Encoding Task. Memory. ISSN 0965-8211

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Two experiments investigated the effects of product attribute associations on false consumer memory. In both experiments, subjects were presented with sets of related product attributes under incidental encoding conditions. Later, recognition memory was tested with studied attributes, non-studied but associated attributes (critical lures) and non-studied unrelated attributes. In Experiment 1, the effect of Need for Cognition (NFC) was assessed. It was found that individuals high in NFC recognized more presented attributes and falsely recognised more associative critical lures. The increase in both true and associative false memory was accompanied by a greater number of responses that index the retrieval of detailed episodic-like information. Experiment 2, replicated the main findings through an experimental manipulation of the encoding task that required subjects to consider purchase likelihood. Explanations for these findings are considered from the perspective of activation processes and knowledge structures in the form of gist-based representations.

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