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Retrieval-Induced Forgetting of Emotional Autobiographical Memories

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posted on 10.12.2012, 00:00 authored by Tara A. Jobe
Retrieval-induced forgetting is a phenomenon in which the retrieval of an item from memory causes the forgetting of other related or competing items. This forgetting is thought to be the consequence of inhibitory processes that act to prevent unwanted competing responses from coming to mind when attempting to retrieve a target response. While Barnier, Hung, and Conway (2004) demonstrated that autobiographical events can be forgotten using a retrieval-induced forgetting paradigm, they failed to control for output order. The current study replicated Barnier et al. (2004) while controlling for output order to test whether the forgetting they observed was merely due to blocking-based output interference. After recalling positive and negative autobiographical memories using word cues, participants were asked to retrieve a subset of their originally reported memories. They were then tested on their ability to retrieve initially recalled memories. We predicted similar results to Barnier et al. (2004), such that people would show retrieval-induced forgetting for autobiographical memories that are followed by the retrieval of other, related memories. Results supported this hypothesis; people recalled positive and negative unpracticed memories from practiced cue word sets at a lower rate than unpracticed positive and negative memories from unpracticed cue word sets. By demonstrating forgetting while controlling for output interference it is clear that other mechanisms, such as inhibition, may be responsible for autobiographical retrieval-induced forgetting.

History

Advisor

Storm, Benjamin C.

Department

Psychology

Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level

Masters

Submitted date

2012-05

Language

en

Issue date

10/12/2012