Discriminating memories for actual and imagined taste experiences: A reality monitoring approach

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 1999


University of Illinois Press


Blindfolded subjects tasted 4 common fruits and imagined the taste of 4 others while focusing on either a few (low sensory detail [SD] or many (high SD) of the fruit's sensory qualities. One week later, subjects judged whether each of 12 fruit names represented a fruit that was previously tasted, imagined tasted, or new (reality monitoring). The major finding was a significant interaction between source (imagined, perceived) and SD level (low, high). Source monitoring was accurate for imagined and perceived fruits in the low SD condition and for perceived fruits in the high SD condition. As predicted, subjects tended to misattribute memories for imagined fruits to perception in the high SD condition. The findings are discussed with reference to the Johnson-Raye reality monitoring model and recent work on memory source confusions.