Encouraging source monitoring after post-event information exposure for analogue trauma

Sasha Nahleen, Deryn Strange, Reginald D. V. Nixon, Melanie K. T. Takarangi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Trauma victims often come to remember experiencing more trauma than they initially reported. Our experiments are the first to investigate a plausible mechanism for this memory amplification, namely, that people incorporate new details contained in post-event information (PEI) into their event memory. In Experiment 1, participants viewed traumatic photographs, and completed recognition memory tests before and 24-h after PEI exposure. As predicted, PEI distorted traumatic memory. In Experiments 2 and 3, we found that encouraging source monitoring reduced PEI-related errors regardless of whether the delay period between memory tests was shorter (24 h; Experiment 2) or longer (1 week; Experiment 3). Our results suggest that evaluating the source of traumatic photos increases source monitoring, making people resistant to inaccurate PEI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-331
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Volume36
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022

Keywords

  • false memory
  • memory
  • source-monitoring
  • trauma

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