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The use of indirect and opposition tests to detect simulated amnesia

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Two experiments investigated the effect of instruction to simulate memory impairment on performance on a word stem completion task. In addition to the standard control group, a second control group (divided-attention group) studied the target words concurrently with a digit-monitoring task. Experiment 1, using the indirect instruction, did not discriminate clearly between the groups. Experiment 2 used the opposition instruction in which participants were required to complete stems with words they had not seen earlier. It showed that simulators and controls withheld significantly more studied target items than did the divided-attention group. Increasing the number of study list presentations further increased the difference between the performance of the simulating and control groups and the divided-attention group. These results suggest that the opposition method may be useful in detecting feigned memory impairment.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13803390600760471

Affiliations: Macquarie University, New South Wales, Australia

Publication date: May 1, 2007

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