The role of depression and anxiety in developing true and false memories about past events

Cornelia Măirean


The present study aims is to assess the interaction between depression and anxiety, on the one hand, and the emotional valence of a to-be-remembered material in determining true and false memories. A sample of 126 participants completed the study. For the assessment of the occurrence of true and false memories, a video memory paradigm was used. The participants completed scales for measuring depression and anxiety, then they watched two videos presenting a positive, respectively a negative life event. After watching the videos, the participants completed a recognition task, in order to assess both true and false memories. The results showed that more true memories were reported for negative event, by the participants with a low level of depression and anxiety. Moreover, both depression and anxiety interacted with the emotional content of the remembered material in determining true or false memories. The implications of the results are discussed.

true memories, false memories, depression, anxiety, emotional content

Cornelia Măirean – Al. I. Cuza University, Iaşi, Romania, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences
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