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03-12-2014 | Original Article

Why are we not flooded by involuntary autobiographical memories? Few cues are more effective than many

Auteurs: Manila Vannucci, Claudia Pelagatti, Maciej Hanczakowski, Giuliana Mazzoni, Claudia Rossi Paccani

Gepubliceerd in: Psychological Research | Uitgave 6/2015

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Abstract

Recent research on involuntary autobiographical memories (IAMs) has shown that these memories can be elicited and studied in the laboratory under controlled conditions. Employing a modified version of a vigilance task developed by Schlagman and Kvavilashvili (Mem Cogn 36:920–932, 2008) to elicit IAMs, we investigated the effects of varying the frequency of external cues on the number of IAMs reported. During the vigilance task, participants had to detect an occasional target stimulus (vertical lines) in a constant stream of non-target stimuli (horizontal lines). Participants had to interrupt the task whenever they became aware of any task-unrelated mental contents and to report them. In addition to line patterns, participants were exposed to verbal cues and their frequency was experimentally manipulated in three conditions (frequent cues vs. infrequent cues vs. infrequent cues plus arithmetic operations). We found that, compared to infrequent cues, both conditions with frequent cues and infrequent cues plus arithmetic operations decreased the number of IAMs reported. The comparison between the three experimental conditions suggests that this reduction was due to the greater cognitive load in conditions of frequent cues and infrequent cue plus arithmetic operations. Possible mechanisms involved in this effect and their implications for research on IAMs are discussed.
Voetnoten
1
Due to a technical error, the data of 3 participants (2 of the infrequent cues group and 1 of the frequent cues group) were not recorded.
 
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Metagegevens
Titel
Why are we not flooded by involuntary autobiographical memories? Few cues are more effective than many
Auteurs
Manila Vannucci
Claudia Pelagatti
Maciej Hanczakowski
Giuliana Mazzoni
Claudia Rossi Paccani
Publicatiedatum
03-12-2014
Uitgeverij
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Gepubliceerd in
Psychological Research / Uitgave 6/2015
Print ISSN: 0340-0727
Elektronisch ISSN: 1430-2772
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-014-0632-y

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