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Susceptibility to misleading information under social pressure in schizophrenia

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Abstract

Research looking at specific memory aberrations in the schizophrenia has primarily focused on their phenomenology using standardized semantic laboratory tasks. However, no study has investigated to what extent such aberrations have consequences for everyday episodic memories using more realistic false memory paradigms. Using a false memory paradigm where participants are presented with misleading suggestive information (Gudjonsson Suggestibility Scale), we investigated the susceptibility of patients with schizophrenia (n = 21) and healthy controls (n = 18) to post hoc misleading information acceptance and compliance. Patients with schizophrenia exhibited an increased susceptibility to go along with misleading suggestive items. Furthermore, they showed an increased tendency to change answers under conditions of social pressure. Underscoring previous findings on memory aberrations in schizophrenia, patients with schizophrenia had reduced levels of correct recognition (ie, true memory) relative to healthy controls. The effects remained stable when controlling for specific mediating variables such as symptom severity and intelligence in patients with schizophrenia. These findings are a first indication that social pressure and misleading information may impair source memory for everyday episodic memories in schizophrenia, and such impairment has clear consequences for treatment issues and forensic practice.
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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1187-1193
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Volume53
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012