The Revelation Effect for Autobiographical Memory: A Mixture-Model Analysis

Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, Vol. 16, No. 3, p. 463, 2009

UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2011-36

7 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2011 Last revised: 12 Aug 2011

See all articles by Daniel M. Bernstein

Daniel M. Bernstein

Kwantlen Polytechnic University; University of Washington

Michael E Rudd

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Edgar Erdfelder

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ryan Godfrey

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Elizabeth F. Loftus

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

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

Participants provided information about their childhood by rating their confidence about whether they had experienced various events (e.g., “broke a window playing ball”). On some trials, participants unscrambled a key word from the event phrase (e.g., wdinwo–window) or an unrelated word (e.g., gnutge–nugget) before seeing the event and giving their confidence ratings. The act of unscrambling led participants to increase their confidence that the event occurred in their childhood, but only when the confidence rating immediately followed the act of unscrambling. This increase in confidence mirrors the “revelation effect” observed in word recognition experiments. In the present article, we analyzed our data using a new signal detection mixture distribution model that does not require the researcher to know the veracity of memory judgments a priori. Our analysis reveals that unscrambling a key word or an unrelated word affects response bias and discriminability in autobiographical memory tests in ways that are very similar to those that have been previously found for word recognition tasks.

Suggested Citation

Bernstein, Daniel M. and Rudd, Michael E and Erdfelder, Edgar and Godfrey, Ryan and Loftus, Elizabeth F., The Revelation Effect for Autobiographical Memory: A Mixture-Model Analysis (2009). Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, Vol. 16, No. 3, p. 463, 2009; UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2011-36. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1906486

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)

Michael E Rudd

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Edgar Erdfelder

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ryan Godfrey

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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

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