Sub-types of nonbelieved memories reveal differential outcomes of challenges to memories

Alan Scoboria*, Robert A. Nash, Giuliana Mazzoni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nonbelieved memories (NBMs) highlight the independence between metamemorial judgments that contribute to the experience of remembering. Initial definitions of NBMs portrayed them as involving the withdrawal of autobiographical belief despite sustained recollection. While people rate belief for their NBMs as weaker than recollection, the average difference is too small to support the idea that belief is completely withdrawn in all cases. Furthermore, ratings vary considerably across NBMs. In two studies, we reanalyzed reports from prior studies to examine whether NBM reports reflect a single category or multiple sub-categories using cluster analytic methods. In Study 1, we identified three sub-types of NBMs. In Study 2 we incorporated the concept of belief in accuracy, and found that two of the clusters from Study 1 split into two clusters apiece. Higher ratings of recollection than belief in occurrence characterized all clusters, which were differentiated by the degree of difference between these variables. In both studies the clusters were differentiated by a number of memory characteristic ratings and by reasons reported as leading to the alteration of belief. Implications for understanding the remembering of past events and predicting the creation of NBMs are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)876-889
Number of pages14
Early online date11 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Memory on 11/07/2016, available online:


  • nonbelieved memory
  • subtype
  • cluster analysis
  • belief in occurence
  • accuracy
  • memory


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