The effects of type of retrieval on predicted and actual memory performance for an episodic lie-generation paradigm
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Intentional generation of lies is a widely studied topic that has attracted attention over the last two decades. However, the memory for one’s intentional lies has not been studied thoroughly. Some studies suggest that deceptive answers intrude into one’s memory as false memories, however, most of the time, the results come from different types of paradigms with different types of retrieval tests. Theoretically, one factor that can potentially change memory of one’s lies might be the type of retrieval that they have to engage in. The current study investigated how using different types of retrieval such as free-recall, cued-recall as well as source and destination recognition may change both actual and predicted memory for lies and the truth. In a set of 3 experiments, participants were asked to tell the truth or tell a lie in the encoding phase, followed by their confidence rate in remembering the items in a subsequent memory test. At test, participants had to recall the answers to the questions through cued-recall (Experiment 1), free-recall (Experiment 2) or source and destination recognition (Experiment 3). Experiments 1 and 2 showed that according to response latencies, lying was more difficult than telling the truth. This difficulty was not reflected in participants’ predictions, truthful and deceptive answers were predicted to be remembered equally well. Actual memory performance differed across experiments: truthful answers were remembered more in Experiment 1, and deceptive answers were remembered more in Experiment 2. The results imply that the type of retrieval may change the pattern of actual memory performance between truth and lies, even though this is not reflected in memory predictions during encoding. Experiment 3 investigated whether lying would be influenced by the contextual information, associated with retrieval type by using a source and destination retrieval task. Participants were asked to tell truthful or deceptive information to the people on the screen, or receive truthful or deceptive information from the people on the screen. Results revealed that participants were able to recognize the faces from whom they received information more than the faces they told information to, regardless of the accuracy of the information. The results are discussed with processing fluency hypothesis and source monitoring framework.