Two experiments examined the effect of interacting with a virtual object (object interactivity) on true and false memories. Although object interactivity may improve memory of associations compared to static pictures and text, it may lead to the creation of vivid internally generated recollections that pose as real memories. Consequently, compared to information conveyed via static pictures and text, object interactivity may cause people to falsely recognize more nonpresented features. The results support these hypotheses and provide converging evidence that this false-recognition effect is due to using imagery during retrieval and is robust, emerging regardless of individuals' goals (to search or browse) or learning intent.
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