Imagining nice and nasty events in childhood or adulthood: Recent positive events show the most imagination inflation

Stefanie J. Sharman*, Amanda J. Barnier

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We explored whether event recency and valence affect people's susceptibility to imagination inflation. Using a three-stage procedure, subjects imagined positive and negative events happening in their distant or recent past. First, subjects rated how confident they were that they had experienced particular positive and negative events in childhood or adulthood using a Life Events Inventory (LEI). Two weeks later, they imagined two positive and two negative events from the LEI. Finally, they rated their confidence on the LEI a second time. For positive events, subjects showed more imagination inflation for adulthood than childhood events. For negative events, they showed no difference in imagination inflation for adulthood and childhood events. We discuss factors that may influence source confusions for memories of the past and highlight directions for future research.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)228-233
    Number of pages6
    JournalActa Psychologica
    Volume129
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008

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