The aim of this study was to define the processes underlying false recognition memory for orthographically related words by using the simplified conjoint recognition paradigm (Stahl & Klauer, 2009), which is grounded in the fuzzy trace theory. We considered 2 accounts. The first assumes that false memory stems from the perceptual feature overlap between targets and distractors represented in the gist memory parameter. The second account assumes that false memory for orthographically related distractors results from the misattribution of verbatim information, which is reflected in the phantom recollection parameter. Data from two experiments were analyzed with multinomial processing tree modeling to estimate the contribution of latent processes to performance in recognition memory tests. These analyses supported the feature overlap account, suggesting that gist trace encodes both semantic and orthographic patterns. We also showed that a boost in false memories due to the adding of semantic associates to a list of orthographically related words stems from an increase in phantom recollection. We discussed further directions in theoretical and empirical research on the gist and verbatim traces’ contribution to false recognition of perceptually related stimuli.

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