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This study explored with a false memory paradigm whether (1) depressed patients revealed more false memories and (2) whether more negative false than positive false recognition existed in subjects with depressive disorders.Thirty-two patients suffering from a major depressive episode (DSM-IV criteria), and 30 age- and education-matched normal control subjects participated in this study. After the presentation of a list of positive, negative, and neutral association items in the learning phase, subjects were asked to give a yes/no response in the recognition phase. They were also asked to rate 81 recognition items with emotional valence scores.The results revealed more negative false memories in the clinical depression group than in the normal control group; however, we did not find more negative false memories than positive ones in patients. When compared with the normal group, a more conservative response criterion for positive items was evident in patient groups. It was also found that when compared with the normal group, the subjects in the depression group perceived the positive items as less positive.On the basis of present results, it is suggested that depressed subjects judged the emotional information with criteria different from normal individuals, and patients' emotional memory intensity is attenuated by their mood.