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This study investigated the effect of imagination on source monitoring errors across three modalities (action, audition and vision), and the effects of increased number of imaginings (once compared to five times) on source monitoring performance. Thirty-four participants were exposed to 25 action, 25 auditory and 25 visual items. The items were either actually presented or imagined. Of the 25 items, 15 items were actually presented once, while five items were presented for imagining once and five items were presented for imagining five times. Following a 15-minute distractor task, participants were required to recognise items and to ascertain whether each item was actually presented or had been imagined. No significant difference was found between the conditions of items actually presented and items imagined only once. An increase in the number of imaginings did not significantly influence source monitoring errors for action items, but did result in a significant decrease in source monitoring errors for auditory and visual items. These findings support the notion that different processes may be involved in source monitoring across different modalities.

Original publication




Journal article


Australian Journal of Psychology

Publication Date





135 - 139