Positive affect facilitates the effect of a warning on false memory in the DRM paradigm

Hwajin Yang, Sujin Yang, Stephen J. Ceci, Alice M. Isen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Increasing evidence that positive affect enhances associative processing has lent weight to the idea that positive affect increases false memory for information that is thematically interrelated. Using the Deese–Roediger–McDermott paradigm, we examined whether mild positive affect facilitates monitoring processes in modulating false memory for associate words. When participants in the warned condition – in contrast to those in the unwarned condition – were overtly warned about possible false recognition of the critical lure, we found that positive affect, compared to neutral affect, significantly enhanced monitoring through a warning and reduced false recognition. Signal detection analyses suggest that when a warning is provided, positive affect enhances sensitivity to discriminate list items from critical lures, but it does not shift the overall decision criterion. Taken together, we conclude that positive affect facilitates the effect of a warning in reducing false memories for semantic associates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-206
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Positive Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 4 May 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a research grant from Singapore Management University conferred on the first author [grant number C242026].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Taylor & Francis.


  • DRM paradigm
  • false memories
  • monitoring processing
  • positive affect


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