Date of Award
Bachelor of Science (BS)
Department of Psychology
Two different theories for individual differences in false memory rates were investigated: the Hemispheric Encoding/Retrieval Asymmetry (HERA) model (e.g., Proper & Christman, 2004); and coarse versus fine associative processing (e.g., Ito, 2001). Unlike previous research, this study incorporates the Remote Associates Task (RAT) to investigate questions of coarse and fine associative processing. Handedness scores of the 46 participants (8 male, 38 female) ranged from 12 (strongly left-handed) to 36 (strongly right-handed), though the distribution was heavily negatively skewed. Using Medialab, participants were presented with DRM word lists to study and completed a handedness inventory, a recognition test based on the DRM words, a demographics survey, and the RAT. During the recognition task, participants were presented with studied items, critical lure items, and filler items and asked whether words were old or new, and, if old, whether they remembered, knew, or guessed that they were old. Results indicated that there was a false memory effect: participants were more likely to judge critical lures than filler items as old. Unfortunately, not enough data from left-handers was obtained to properly investigate the first model, or to investigate the handedness aspect of the second model. The second model was, however, supported by data in that higher RAT scores (coarser semantic processing) were significantly correlated with higher rates of false memory.
Bethke, Verena Sema, "The relationship between handedness and memory errors" (2014). Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current. 386.