Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2015

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Tim Curran

Second Advisor

Heidi Day

Third Advisor

Hillary Potter


The purpose of this study was to examine how individual differences alter rates of false memory, specifically neuroticism and conscientiousness personality facets from Costa and McRae’s (1996) big-five personality traits. Forty-eight University of Colorado Boulder students taking Psychology 1001 were recruited in exchange for class credit. Participants were tested using the International Personality Item Pool (IPIP), a free and comparable version of the NEO Personality Inventory-Revised (NEO PI-R) personality test. To measure false memory, six word lists that elicited the highest false memory rate from the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm were used. This study revealed that higher rates of neuroticism and conscientiousness were associated with higher rates of false memories. In addition, higher neuroticism was correlated positively with accurate memory for studied words while higher conscientiousness was related negatively to accuracy for studied words. However, none of these finding were statistically significant.