NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1261984
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0888-4080
Did You Wash Your Hands? Evaluating Memory for Objects Touched by Healthy Individuals and Individuals with Contagious and Noncontagious Diseases
Gretz, Matthew R.; Huff, Mark J.
Applied Cognitive Psychology, v33 n6 p1271-1278 Nov-Dec 2019
Prior research suggests that individuals recruit a disease-avoidance system designed to avoid sources of illness through threat detection and memory. Our study evaluated whether disease-related memory benefits reflect the distinctive/salient nature of a diseased state versus the infectious nature of a disease by comparing memory for objects touched by healthy individuals or those with a contagious or noncontagious disease. Participants studied videos depicting an actor interacting with objects in which the actor was described as diagnosed with influenza, an infectious disease, cancer, a noninfectious disease, or was healthy, followed by free-recall and source-recognition tests. Correct recall and source recognition were greater overall for touched versus nontouched items, but source recognition was particularly elevated for items touched by the infectious influenza actor. Further, touched-item recognition was positively related to participants' assessed germ aversion--supplemental evidence that disease concerns may facilitate source recollections for touched objects.
Wiley. Available from: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030. Tel: 800-835-6770; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A