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Memory conformity

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Last Updated: 02 July 2021

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After an event such as a crime has occur, witnesses often discuss their experience with co-witness. This discussion may lead to people incorporating this external information into their own reports of event, which IS problematic if information they are exposed to IS incorrect. The potential for co-witness discussion to generate misinformation effects has become known as Memory conformity and social contagion of Memory. According to some research findings, co-witness discussion appears to be one of the most influential methods for producing this effect; however, it should be noted that this IS not a universal finding. While a number of studies have examined the effects of co-witness discussion on memory, relatively little research has been conducted to investigate how individual differences influence susceptibility to memory conformity. One important area worth exploring IS that of individual perceptions and confidence in memory ability. If individuals believe they have inferior memory ability to others, this may affect whether they accept other witne responses as correct over their own. One method to explore the influence of subjective perceptions of memory ability has focus on manipulating credibility of co-witness. For example, in Allan et al., Participants viewed a scene for 30 60 or 120 s and were told their partner would view the scene for either half or twice as long as them. Participants were then asked to respond to forced-choice Memory questions after they saw their partners ' responses: one third of which were accurate, one third were inaccurate and for one third no response was give. It was found that conformity was especially prevalent in conditions where participants only had 30 s to encode stimuli, and particularly for those participants who believed they saw scenes for half the time their partner do. These results suggest that people adjust their responses based on their perceptions of the likely quality of their partners ' memory. In another study, Wright and Villalba had participants memorise a series of pictures before completing a recognition task where they were asked to rate their confidence that images had been shown previously. Participants were then presented with answers of previous participant and were given the option to change their own answer in light of this information. It was found that participants with initial inaccurate memories were more likely to be influenced by their partners ' answers than those with correct answers, even if they originally had a high level of confidence in incorrect responses. The implication of this result IS that initial incorrect memories about events can be change; this IS useful if external memory IS correct, but problematic if new information IS also incorrect. Importantly, as memory collaboration in abovementioned - studies do not occur face to face, it IS important to consider how perceived memory ability influences conformity in the context of direct interactions with co-witnesses. In study by Thorley, participants studied words and were asked to collaborate with confederate in completing recognition test.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Important variables

Four confederates, seated at positions 1-4, one participant, seated at position 5, and an experimenter, seated in front of a laptop, participate in the experiment. During encoding and retrieval, figures of unknown female and male faces were present. During retrieval, all confederates and participants loudly rat each face as either old or new, and all responses were documented by experimenter. Importantly, all confederates give their responses prior to the test participant. Dark gray bars indicate the percentage of hits, light bars percentage of false alarms. Bars are normalized to total number of items present in each group response condition, separately for old and new items. Memory was significantly better than chance and was affected by group opinion, indicating a highly significant effect of conformity. This effect was similar for the long and short version of the experiment. Error bars indicate sem


Finally, in contrast to typical memory conformity experiments in which confederates are used to create realistic and sometimes interactive social situations, here we show robust effects of cues in complete absence of social interaction. Study of cue influences during memory without social interaction is actually rare. Additionally, even when social interaction is absent during final recognition testing, social influence is often introduced earlier in paradigm. For example, in Meade and Roedigers Experiment 4, observers view scenes and then either take turns recalling scenes with misleading confederates or take turns recalling scenes and reading misleading responses from fictional participants. After these initial recall experiences, observers perform final recall and source recognition test in isolation. Thus, cues from confederates or fictional participants were given during the initial recall phase with the intention of creating false memories, while no cues were provided during later source recognition test. This Experiment revealed that virtual and actual confederates were equally influential in the final recall test, even though virtual confederates were not equally influential in the source recognition test. Here, in contrast, we show that external cues directly preceding each memory probe in standard recognition test robustly influence participants ' responses, despite the absence of any actual social interaction. Thus, while social interaction may play a considerable role in conformity of judgments, it is clearly not a prerequisite for demonstrating so-call memory conformity effects when external cues precede memory probes in standard recognition memory paradigm. Therefore, we suggest that memory conformity effects in large part reflect beneficial decision strategy whereby participants incorporate external environmental cues about items memory status into their own judgments when internal evidence leads to high subjective uncertainty. We have no doubt that social factors could amplify this tendency, but present data suggest that social interaction per se is not a fundamental aspect of conformity patterns for recognition memory judgments. From this perspective, power of Aschs experiments and of follow-up research in this area is not demonstration that observers bend to external cues when rendering judgments, but demonstration that they do so even when their internal evidence is presumably unambiguous. In contrast, judgments of recognition often do not rely on unambiguous evidence, and given this, reliance on external cues is demonstrably generally beneficial. However, present explicit-mnemonic-cueing paradigm may be useful for more socially informed questions. For example, only slight modification would be necessary to present cues as originating from particular social groups, and doing so would enable one to examine whether cue influence was or was not sensitive to such factors. Alternatively, in light of eyewitness testimony literature, one could examine whether individuals can in fact resist being influenced by external cues based on various factors. For example, if participants were appropriately informed of cue reliabilities in Experiment 1 and were provided incentive not to utilize those cues in their reports, could they do so? We are currently researching these types of interesting questions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions


In laboratory, great efforts are taken to ensure that decision strategies do not inflate estimates of recognition memory accuracy. For example, in typical recognition memory test, study and nonstudied - items are randomly intermixed and equiprobable. While such procedures are necessary for understanding baseline recognition abilities, they are arguably quite artificial, because recognition judgments outside laboratory should make use of a host of situational cues in order to improve performance. For example, when attempting to identify someone at a high school reunion as a former classmate, one might use cues such as general context of event or persons age, or ask friends for explicit opinion. Such contextual cues are generally predictive and could decrease the likelihood of awkward mistakes. Here we examine how observers incorporate judgments of anonymous others into their recognition decisions by providing them with recognition judgments of two fictitious others during the course of testing. Before describing the optimal solution to this task, we briefly review work in social psychology that examines similar questions under the rubric of social conformity. Pioneering work by Asch examines how judgments of others influence ones perceptual decisions. In a series of experiments, 7-9 participants were assembled in a room to take part in a fictional visual perception experiment in which they indicated whether vertical lines had the same or different lengths. Of these people, only 1 was a naive participant, while the rest were confederates who responded almost unanimously according to the prepared plan. Responses were verbalize, and the naive participant responded last. Even though participant accuracy when tested in isolation was typically close to 100%, research demonstrates that when confederates gave misinformation, naive participants ' scores were clearly impaired by aberrant group consensus. A host of studies have examined these social conformity effects on a variety of judgments, and a growing number of studies have examined these effects on explicit recognition judgments. In general, findings have show that participants will shift their recognition memory decisions toward confederates even when those confederates ' reports are incorrect, phenomenon term memory conformity. Because most research on memory conformity considers laboratory findings in light of eye-witness testimony situations, memory conformity has generally been characterized as undesirable. For example, Walther et al. Comment that it was not enough that our cognitive system is apparently faulty, now it also appears that other people, perhaps people we do not like or do not even know, are able to control our recollections. Thus, emphasis of memory conformity studies has typically been on the degree to which observers allow themselves to be negatively impacted by others who are purposefully inaccurate and deceptive. This emphasis has perhaps had the unfortunate effect of obscuring the fact that use of external cues or information during the course of recognition judgments is statistically an optimal approach under Bayess theorem and the closely related theory of signal detection. What is the optimal decision rule when giving recommendation while making recognition judgment?

Experiment 1

Here we modify the explicit mnemonic cueing paradigm of OConnor et al. To examine whether observers, in the absence of feedback or external indications of source reliability, would naturally distinguish between reliable and unreliable sources of memory cues, and hence use those cues accordingly. To examine this in controlled fashion, participants were lead to believe that they would view answers of two prior anonymous students who had complete recognition test that they were currently taking. Fictional students ' answers were primarily shown in isolation; however, secondary manipulation also examined effects when both students ' reports were provided on give trial. Critically, one of student sources was wholly unreliable, whereas other was moderately reliable. Ideally, one might expect participants to rely moderately on reliable students and to completely discount unreliable student; However, this does not occur.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions


* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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