Adopting a fictitious autobiography: fabrication inflation or deflation?

Paul Riesthuis*, Henry Otgaar, Ivan Mangiulli, Romane de Tauzia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

In the present experiment, we examined whether adopting a fictitious biography would make participants believe in this autobiography. Participants were split up into two conditions: forced confabulation condition and control condition. The forced confabulation condition received a snippet with the fake biography and had to adopt it through several methods (i.e., method acting, journaling, and convincing experimenters in an interview) over an extended period of time. The control condition was told that they partook in an experiment about personal childhood memories. Before, during and after lying participants completed four Life Event Inventories (LEI). Results revealed that after coming forward with the truth participants did not increase nor decrease their belief for the lied about events. Additionally, even after a one-year delay, we found no evidence for either effect. Our findings suggest that more extreme forms of fabrication do not make people believe in their lies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)741-752
Number of pages12
JournalMemory
Volume28
Issue number6
Early online date19 Jun 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2020

Keywords

  • Memory
  • lying
  • autobiographical memory
  • confabulation
  • FALSE MEMORIES
  • FORCED CONFABULATION
  • OTHER-DECEPTION
  • SELF-DECEPTION
  • CHILDHOOD
  • MISINFORMATION
  • REJECTION
  • WITNESSES
  • CREATION
  • EVENTS

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