Hypnotic susceptibility, not suggestion, influences false memory development.
Hypnotic susceptibility is a measurable trait that influences the development of false memories. In Experiment 1, participants heard a positive or negative suggestion regarding hypnosis, then listened to eight DRM lists in hypnotic state. Neither hypnosis nor suggestion affected memory. High susceptibility participants were significantly more accurate in recall and recognition. In Experiment 2, suggestions were delivered in the form of feedback. Participants heard a positive or negative suggestion about their performance prior to either encoding or retrieval of eight DRM lists. Accurate and false memory was not affected by the suggestion conditions. Those with high hypnotic susceptibility recalled and recognized fewer critical lures if they received a negative suggestion about their performance. These results highlight the importance of individual differences to susceptibility of suggestion in the creation of false memories.