Date of Award

8-30-2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.Sc.

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Scoboria, Alan

Keywords

Applied Memory, Autobiographical Memory, Cognitive Psychology, Neuroscience, Psychology

Rights

CC-BY-NC-ND

Abstract

Autobiographical memory is defined as an individual’s ability to remember events that have happened in the past and plays a pivotal role in one’s concept of self. The present study investigated the impact of different types of feedback on autobiographical memories resulting from stimuli presented in a laboratory setting. 48 undergraduate participants were exposed to video-recorded (N=30) and audio-recorded (N=30) scenes of an actress performing simple tasks. After a 1-week delay, participants received positive feedback (they were accurately told that they had correctly recollected a central detail from within two scenes) and negative feedback (they were inaccurately told that they had incorrectly recollected a central detail from within four scenes, and were either provided or not provided with an explanation as to what the correct answer allegedly was) about their memory. The negative feedback procedure (both with and without the explanation) produced a significant decrease in belief in accuracy ratings without influencing belief in occurrence ratings. The positive feedback procedure produced significant increases in belief in accuracy and belief in occurrence ratings. This study provided a controlled situation in which belief in accuracy and belief in occurrence appraisals could be manipulated simultaneously and provides further evidence of the proposed theoretical dissociation between belief in accuracy and belief in occurrence appraisals. This study reinforces the importance of distinguishing occurrence and accuracy when trying to understand the types of evidence and manipulations that influence current memory appraisals.

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