Fuzzy trace theory and "smart" false memories: Implications for advertising

Kathryn A. LaTour, Michael S. LaTour*, Charles Brainerd

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


False memories are generally viewed as "dumb," in the sense of being caused by deficient processing, but recent psychological research has shown that elaboration and inferences can result in "smart" false memories. These "smart" false memories are explained by fuzzy-trace theory (FTT), which assumes that they derive from comprehension of the meaning of experience. FTT predicts that "smart" false memories should be positively correlated with measured levels of Need for Cognition (NFC). In three experiments we find those higher in NFC are more likely to elaborate and infer information from advertising that causes them to create "smart" false memories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-17
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Advertising
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Communication
  • Marketing


Dive into the research topics of 'Fuzzy trace theory and "smart" false memories: Implications for advertising'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this