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Memory researchers have spent years looking at memory in individuals rather than studying memory in the more ecologically valid setting of collaborative groups. Collaborative memory behaves differently from the memory of the isolated individual. Research has shown that group members sometimes correct false memories during retrieval by error pruning, and other times create false memories during retrieval by social contagion (Congleton & Rajaram 2011). We manipulated encoding directions in collaborative groups via instructions for item-specific or relational encoding in a false memory paradigm (DRM) extending a study by McCabe, Presmanes, Robertson, & Smith (2004) to triads. Memory based explanations, rather than decision based explanations predict a reduction in false recall in a within group design in individuals (Hunt & McDaniel 1993). Item specific encoding leads to a reduction in false recognition while benefiting collective memory by priming unique and individual cues for participants for retrieval. Relational encoding required participants to enhance similarities among items resulting in decreased false recognition via global shifts in decision criteria when used exclusively at encoding. In contrast to decision-based explanations, memory-based explanations suggest that increasing the distinctiveness of studied items leads directly to reductions in false memories (Smith & Hunt 1998). In a within design global shifts, decision-making is not possible when using item-specific encoding. We predict that item-specific encoding will lead to reductions in false recall via error pruning. Conversely, we predict that relational encoding will lead to increases in false recall via social contagion.


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  • Subject
    • Psychological Science

  • Institution
    • Dahlonega

  • Event location
    • LTC 163

  • Event date
    • 30 March 2015

  • Date submitted

    18 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Chuck Robertson