Mindfulness and false-memories: The impact of mindfulness practice on the DRM paradigm

  • Rosenstreich E
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Abstract

ABSTRACT Mindfulness practice is the cultivation of awareness to the present moment and has been shown in recent years to have beneficial effects on cognition. However, to date, the data regarding the impact of mindfulness on memory-and specifically on memory distortions-is scarce and incomplete. The present study was aimed to examine whether mindfulness practice would have an effect on true and false memories. To this end, the effect of mindfulness meditation practice on memory performance was examined in two experiments in which false memories were provoked using the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm (Roediger & McDermott, 1995). In Experiment 1, college students were randomly divided into either a 5-week mindfulness-practice group (n = 29) or a waitlist control group (n = 22). In Experiment 2, college students were randomly divided into either a brief mindfulness session (n = 21) or a mind-wandering control group (n = 19). The results indicated that mindfulness increased the recognition of true memories with no effect on spontaneous false-memories, yet increased the rate of provoked false-memories. These findings are discussed in terms of memory sensitivity and response bias, and it is argued that mindfulness may have a lesser effect on encoding processes than previously suggested.

Author-supplied keywords

  • false-memory
  • mindfulness
  • response-bias
  • sensitivity

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Authors

  • Eyal Rosenstreich

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