Gender differences in susceptibility to associative memory illusions in the Deese/Roediger–McDermott paradigm were investigated using negative and neutral word lists. Women (n=50) and men (n=50) studied 20 lists of 12 words that were associates of a non-presented critical lure. Ten lists were associates of negatively valenced lures (e.g., cry, evil) and ten were associates of neutral lures (e.g., chair, slow). When asked to recall the words after each list, women falsely recalled more negative lures than men, but there was no gender difference in the false recall of neutral lures. These findings suggest that women reflect on associations within negative lists to a greater degree than men and are thereby more likely to generate the negative critical lures.
Dewhurst, S. A., Anderson, R. J., & Knott, L. (2011). A gender difference in false recall of negative words: Women DRM more than men. Cognition and Emotion. https://doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2011.553037