The false fame illusion in people with memories about a previous life

M.J.V. Peters*, R. Horselenberg, M. Jelicic, H.L.G.J. Merckelbach

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The present study examined whether individuals with full-blown memories of highly implausible events are prone to commit source monitoring errors. Participants reporting previous-life memories and those without such memories completed a false fame task. This task provides an index of source monitoring errors (i.e., misclassifying familiar non-famous names as famous names). Participants with previous-life memories had a greater tendency to judge the names of previously presented non-famous people as famous than control participants. The two groups did not differ in terms of correct recognition of new non-famous names and famous names. Although dissociation, cognitive failures, sleep-related experiences, depressive symptoms, and signs of psychological distress were all significantly higher in participants with previous-life memories than in controls, these variables did not predict the false fame illusion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-169
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007

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