Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

MS Experimental Psychology

Department

Psychology

Advisor

Marianne Lloyd, Ph.D

Committee Member

Kelly Goedert, Ph.D

Committee Member

Leamarie Gordon, Ph.D

Keywords

Memory, Misinformation Effect, Retrieval Enhanced Suggestibility, New Theory of Disuse, Memory Error, Retrieval Fluency

Abstract

Retrieval enhanced suggestibility (RES) refers to an effect where initial testing of an event leads to better learning of and higher production of misinformation regarding that event. This paper proposes the New Theory of Disuse (Bjork & Bjork, 1992) as a supplement to the retrieval fluency account for RES (Thomas et al., 2010). The amount of interference presented between the misinforming narrative and final test was manipulated in order to investigate how decays in retrieval strength (how easily a memory is recalled) affect misinformation reporting. Results suggested that the learning of interfering information may decrease RES, but that this effect may be contingent on how strongly the original event memory was stored (quantified as performance on initial test). This is in line with New Theory of Disuse’s predictions, which suggest that degree of retrieval strength decay with new learning may be determined by how strongly a memory trace is stored.

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