A common phenomenon observed in patients with schizophrenia is confabulation, which is when an individual provides demonstrably false information they believe to be true. To further investigate the types of confabulations that schizophrenics provide and how they differ from healthy controls, the current study investigated the eyewitness suggestibility of schizophrenics and healthy controls using the forced fabrication paradigm (Chrobak & Zaragoza, 2008; 2013). In the current study participants first watched a video about two brothers at a summer camp. A week later the participants were interviewed about the video. During this interview participants were asked about 2 events they never witnessed and were required to provide answers to these items (fabrication items). A week after this interview participants answered a series of yes/no recognition questions and rated their confidence about events they saw in the original video (true-event items), the 2 fabrication items, and an additional set of items never witness in the original video (false-event items). Overall, schizophrenic participants were more likely to falsely recognize false-event items than healthy controls but were equally likely to falsely recognize their own fabrications. However, schizophrenic participants were also more confident than healthy controls when falsely recognizing their own fabrications. These results suggest that though schizophrenics may not be more likely to have false memories for suggested events they may be more confident in these false memories.
Mr. Patrick R. Rich
Dr. Maria S. Zaragoza