Increasing Confidence in Remote Autobiographical Memory and General Knowledge: Extensions of the Revelation Effect

Memory & Cognition, Vol. 30, No. 3, pp. 432-438, 2002

UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2011-37

8 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2011 Last revised: 2 Jun 2012

Daniel M. Bernstein

Kwantlen Polytechnic University; University of Washington

Elizabeth F. Loftus

University of California, Irvine - Department of Psychology and Social Behavior; University of California, Irvine School of Law

Bruce W. A. whittlesea

Simon Fraser University (SFU)

Date Written: 2002

Abstract

In recognition tests, items presented in unusual ways (e.g., degraded, revealed in stages, or presented as anagrams) are often judged to be old more than are intact items. This revelation effect has been observed only in episodic judgments about the occurrence or frequency of relatively recent events. The present work extends the boundary conditions of this effect. In three experiments, subjects unscrambled anagrams in the context of answering questions about their childhood (e.g., broke a dwniwo playing ball) or while answering questions pertaining to world knowledge (e.g., fastest animal–elpraod). In each case, a revelation effect was observed: Solving an anagram increased confidence in remote autobiographical memories and in memory for world facts. These results contradict claims that the effect is an episodic memory phenomenon and challenge existing explanations of the revelation effect.

Suggested Citation

Bernstein, Daniel M. and Loftus, Elizabeth F. and whittlesea, Bruce W. A., Increasing Confidence in Remote Autobiographical Memory and General Knowledge: Extensions of the Revelation Effect (2002). Memory & Cognition, Vol. 30, No. 3, pp. 432-438, 2002; UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2011-37. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1906472 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1906472

Daniel M. Bernstein (Contact Author)

Kwantlen Polytechnic University ( email )

12666-72nd Avenue
Surrey, British Columbia V3W 2M8
Canada
604-599-3372 (Phone)

University of Washington ( email )

Seattle, WA 98195
United States
206 616-6107 (Phone)

Elizabeth F. Loftus

University of California, Irvine - Department of Psychology and Social Behavior ( email )

4201 Social & Behavioral Sciences Gateway
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697-7085
United States

University of California, Irvine School of Law

401 E. Peltason Dr.
Ste. 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States

Bruce W. A. Whittlesea

Simon Fraser University (SFU)

8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6
Canada

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