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Repetition and Spacing Effects on True and False Recognition in the DRM Paradigm


Jean-Baptiste Dubuisson, Université Paris Descartes, Laboratoire de psychologie et neuropsychologie cognitives, Boulogne Billancourt, France. E-mail:


Dubuisson, J.-B., Fiori, N. & Nicolas, S. (2012) Repetition and spacing effects on true and false recognition in the DRM paradigm. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 53, 382–389.

With the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm, the repetition effect on false memory had never been clarified. More importantly, the spacing effect on false memory was never directly investigated. So, we carried out two experiments to examine these effects on true and false recognition. In experiment 1, participants studied DRM lists which were presented one, three or five times. In experiment 2, we manipulated the repetition mode (massed vs. spaced with a short interval or a long interval) to explore the spacing effect. The results showed that true recognition increased monotonically with list repetition (experiment 1) and repetition spacing (experiment 2). The most striking finding was a similar spacing effect but no repetition effect on false recognition. Thus, these results were principally discussed in the light of the activation-monitoring framework.