Publication Date

Summer 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Valerie Carr; Cheryl Chancellor- Freeland; Sean Laraway


False memory;hippocampus;misinformation effect;online study;physical activity;young adults


The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between physical activity and susceptibility to false memory. Among the many benefits of physical activity are brain changes and cognitive improvements. However, few studies have examined the effects of physical activity on false memory, and none have investigated the relationship between physical activity and susceptibility to false memories generated via the misinformation effect. This study was conducted to address that gap and was also among the first to use a misinformation paradigm in an online study. It was hypothesized that greater amounts of weekly physical activity among young adults would be associated with both fewer false memories and more true memories. False memories were created using a slideshow video of a mock crime and subsequent mock eyewitness account containing misinformation. True and false memory performance was assessed by recognition and source-monitoring tests, and physical activity was assessed via a self-report measure. No significant correlations between physical activity and true memory were found. Contrary to the hypothesis, activity was positively associated with false memory. Potential reasons for this unexpected association are considered, as well as implications for future research on physical activity and the misinformation effect. Keywords: False memory, hippocampus, misinformation effect, physical activity, online study, young adults

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Psychology Commons