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ERIC Number: EJ993129
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Nov
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 80
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
On the Flexibility of Social Source Memory: A Test of the Emotional Incongruity Hypothesis
Bell, Raoul; Buchner, Axel; Kroneisen, Meike; Giang, Trang
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v38 n6 p1512-1529 Nov 2012
A popular hypothesis in evolutionary psychology posits that reciprocal altruism is supported by a cognitive module that helps cooperative individuals to detect and remember cheaters. Consistent with this hypothesis, a source memory advantage for faces of cheaters (better memory for the cheating context in which these faces were encountered) was observed in previous studies. Here, we examined whether positive or negative expectancies would influence source memory for cheaters and cooperators. A cooperation task with virtual opponents was used in Experiments 1 and 2. Source memory for the emotionally incongruent information was enhanced relative to the congruent information: In Experiment 1, source memory was best for cheaters with likable faces and for cooperators with unlikable faces; in Experiment 2, source memory was better for smiling cheater faces than for smiling cooperator faces, and descriptively better for angry cooperator faces than for angry cheater faces. Experiments 3 and 4 showed that the emotional incongruity effect generalizes to 3rd-party reputational information (descriptions of cheating and trustworthy behavior). The results are inconsistent with the assumption of a highly specific cheater detection module. Focusing on expectancy-incongruent information may represent a more efficient, general, and hence more adaptive memory strategy for remembering exchange-relevant information than focusing only on cheaters. (Contains 7 figures and 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany