254 research outputs found

    On the existence and implications of nonbelieved memories

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    In this article, we review the state of knowledge about a previously-assumed-to-be-rare memory phenomenon called nonbelieved memories. Nonbelieved memories are a counterintuitive phenomenon in which vivid autobiographical memories are no longer believed to have happened even though vivid recollective features remain present. Such memories stand in contrast to the more typical situation that when events are recollected they are also believed to have genuinely occurred. We review data on the frequency, characteristics, and factors that contribute to the development of naturally occurring and laboratory-induced nonbelieved memories and discuss the relationships of nonbelieved memories with theories of autobiographical remembering and the study of remembering in applied domains

    Manipulating cues in involuntary autobiographical memory: verbal cues are more effective than pictorial cues

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    In two experiments, pictorial cues were compared with their verbal labels to assess their effectiveness in eliciting involuntary autobiographical memories. Cues were relatively complex in Experiment 1 (e.g., relaxing on a beach) and simple objects in Experiment 2 (e.g., a ball). In both experiments, participants went through a vigilance task in which they were presented with frequent nontarget and rare target visual stimuli. Pictures or their corresponding verbal labels were also displayed on both target and nontarget stimuli, but participants were told that these were irrelevant to the task. They were asked to interrupt the vigilance task whenever they became aware of task-unrelated mental contents and to report them. In both experiments, more involuntary memories were elicited in the verbal cue condition, rather than in the pictorial cue condition. This result is discussed in relation to previous work that highlighted the greater effectiveness of verbal cues in memory tasks

    The effect of posthypnotic suggestion and task difficulty on adherence to health-related requests

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    The effects of posthypnotic suggestion on health-related behavior, using a behavioral measure of adherence were investigated. Three hundred twenty three students covering the full range of hypnotic suggestibility were prescribed an easy (mood rating) or a difficult (physical activity) task. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either a) hypnosis with posthypnotic suggestions to facilitate performance of the assigned task or b) a social request to perform the assigned task. There were significant effects for type of task and hypnosis, revealing that participants adhered significantly more to the easy task and that hypnosis decreased task adherence. Hypnotic suggestibility did not predict adherence, and its interaction with posthypnotic suggestion was not significant. These results suggest that posthypnotic suggestion may decrease adherence rates regardless of participants’ suggestibility level

    Hypnosis and memory: two hundred years of adventures and still going!

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    One of the most persistent beliefs about hypnosis is its ability to transcend mnemonic abilities. This belief has paved the way to the use of hypnosis in the clinical and legal arenas. The authors review the phenomena of hypnotic hypermnesia, pseudo-memories, and amnesia in light of current knowledge of hypnosis and memory. The investigation of the relation between hypnosis and memory processes has played an important role in our understanding of memory in action. Hypnosis provides a fertile field to explore the social, neuropsychological, and cognitive variables at play when individuals are asked to remember or to forget their past. We suggest promising avenues of research that may further our knowledge of the building blocks of memories and the mechanisms that leads to forgetfulness

    Visual object imagery and autobiographical memory: object imagers are better at remembering their personal past

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    In the present study we examined whether higher levels of object imagery, a stable characteristic that reflects the ability and preference in generating pictorial mental images of objects, facilitate involuntary and voluntary retrieval of autobiographical memories (ABMs). Individuals with high (High-OI) and low (Low-OI) levels of object imagery were asked to perform an involuntary and a voluntary ABM task in the laboratory. Results showed that High-OI participants generated more involuntary and voluntary ABMs than Low-OI, with faster retrieval times. High-OI also reported more detailed memories compared to Low-OI and retrieved memories as visual images. Theoretical implications of these findings for research on voluntary and involuntary ABMs are discussed

    Inducing false memories by manipulating memory self-efficacy

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    The aim of this paper is to investigate the relationship between self-efficacy and false memories using the Deese/Roediger–McDermott (DRM) paradigm, whereby people falsely remember words not presented in lists. In two studies participants were presented with DRM lists and asked to recall and recognize presented items. In the first study, we found a significant relationship between memory self-efficacy (MSE) and susceptibility to associative memory illusions, both in recall and recognition. They also received the Memory Self-Efficacy Questionnaire (MSEQ), the Big Five Questionnaire (BFQ) and the backward digit span (BDS) test. In the second study, MSE was manipulated in order to assess whether changes influenced the sensitivity parameter in DRM tasks. Results showed that the manipulation was effective in decreasing self-efficacy, which in turn affected the probability of reporting critical lures as well as sensitivity. Possible explanations for the effect are discussed

    Modifying the frequency and characteristics of involuntary autobiographical memories

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    Recent studies have shown that involuntary autobiographical memories (IAMs) can be elicited in the laboratory. Here we assessed whether the specific instructions given to participants can change the nature of the IAMs reported, in terms of both their frequency and their characteristics. People were either made or not made aware that the aim of the study was to examine IAMs. They reported mental contents either whenever they became aware of them or following a predetermined schedule. Both making people aware of the aim of the study and following a fixed schedule of interruptions increased significantly the number of IAMs reported. When aware of the aim of the study, participants reported more specific memories that had been retrieved and rehearsed more often in the past. These findings demonstrate that the number and characteristics of memories depend on the procedure used. Explanations of these effects and their implications for research on IAMs are discussed

    Invited commentary on Brewin and Andrews (2016)

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    Brewin and Andrews (2006) make many cogent observations on the state of knowledge about the development of false autobiographical beliefs and false recollections. Due to inconsistent use of terminology and imprecise definitions, the framework they propose does not clearly map onto the studies that are summarized; making the resulting estimates of the magnitude of effects across studies unconvincing. A singular focus on the development of ‘full memories’ is not explained, and the key role of autobiographical belief in influencing behavior is under emphasized. Furthermore the legal applications discussed are not well defined and are limited in scope. Fostering false belief or false imagery for events such as childhood abuse is unacceptable, whether or not suggested events come to be experienced as a vivid believed recollections

    Inhibitory effects of thought substitution in the think/no-think task: evidence from independent cues

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    When people try not to think about a certain item, they can accomplish this goal by using a thought substitution strategy and think about something else. Research conducted with the think/no-think (TNT) paradigm indicates that such strategy leads subsequently to forgetting the information participants tried not to think about. The present study pursued two goals. First, it investigated the mechanism of forgetting due to thought substitution, contrasting the hypothesis by which forgetting is due to blocking caused by substitutes with the hypothesis that forgetting is due to inhibition (using an independent cue methodology). Second, a boundary condition for forgetting due to thought substitution was examined by creating conditions under which the generation of appropriate substitutes would be impaired. In two experiments, participants completed a TNT task under thought substitution instructions in which either words or pseudo-words were used as original cues and memory was assessed with original and independent cues. The results revealed forgetting in both original and independent cue tests, supporting the inhibitory account of thought substitution, but only when cues were words, and not when they were non-words, pointing to the ineffectiveness of a thought substitution strategy when original cues lack semantic content

    Why are we not flooded by involuntary autobiographical memories? Few cues are more effective than many

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    Recent research on involuntary autobiographical memories (IAMs) has shown that these memories can be elicited and studied in the laboratory under controlled conditions. Employing a modified version of a vigilance task developed by Schlagman and Kvavilashvili (Mem Cogn 36:920–932, 2008) to elicit IAMs, we investigated the effects of varying the frequency of external cues on the number of IAMs reported. During the vigilance task, participants had to detect an occasional target stimulus (vertical lines) in a constant stream of non-target stimuli (horizontal lines). Participants had to interrupt the task whenever they became aware of any task-unrelated mental contents and to report them. In addition to line patterns, participants were exposed to verbal cues and their frequency was experimentally manipulated in three conditions (frequent cues vs. infrequent cues vs. infrequent cues plus arithmetic operations). We found that, compared to infrequent cues, both conditions with frequent cues and infrequent cues plus arithmetic operations decreased the number of IAMs reported. The comparison between the three experimental conditions suggests that this reduction was due to the greater cognitive load in conditions of frequent cues and infrequent cue plus arithmetic operations. Possible mechanisms involved in this effect and their implications for research on IAMs are discussed
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