ERIC Number: EJ823542
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Autobiographical Elaboration Reduces Memory Distortion: Cognitive Operations and the Distinctiveness Heuristic
McDonough, Ian M.; Gallo, David A.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v34 n6 p1430-1445 Nov 2008
Retrieval monitoring enhances episodic memory accuracy. For instance, false recognition is reduced when participants base their decisions on more distinctive recollections, a retrieval monitoring process called the distinctiveness heuristic. The experiments reported here tested the hypothesis that autobiographical elaboration during study (i.e., generating autobiographical memories in response to cue words) would lead to more distinctive recollections than other item-specific encoding tasks, enhancing retrieval monitoring accuracy at test. Consistent with this hypothesis, false recognition was less likely when participants had to search their memory for previous autobiographical elaborations, compared to previous semantic judgments. These false recognition effects were dissociated from true recognition effects across four experiments, implicating a recollection-based monitoring process that was independent from familiarity-based processes. Separately obtained subjective measures provided converging evidence for this conclusion. The cognitive operations engaged during autobiographical elaboration can lead to distinctive recollections, making them less prone to memory distortion than other types of deep or semantic encoding.
Descriptors: Semantics, Familiarity, Heuristics, Memory, Semiotics, Cognitive Processes, Hypothesis Testing, Cues, Task Analysis, Word Recognition
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A