Elevated False Recollection of Emotional Pictures in Young and Older Adults

David A. Gallo*, Katherine T. Foster, Elizabeth L. Johnson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Current theories predict opposing effects of emotionally arousing information on false memory. If emotion enhances true recollection, then false recollection might be lower for emotional than for neutral pictures. However, if emotion enhances conceptual relatedness, then false recollection might increase for nonstudied but emotionally related pictures. We contrasted these 2 factors in young and older adults, using the International Affective Pictures Systems set (Lang, Bradley, & Cuthbert, 2005). Although both age groups used recollection in our task, false recollection was greatest for emotional pictures, supporting a conceptual relatedness account. Finally, even after accuracy differences were controlled, age was related to high-confidence false recollection of emotional pictures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)981-988
Number of pages8
JournalPsychology and Aging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2009


  • aging
  • emotion
  • illusory recollection
  • retrieval monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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