This study sought to examine the effects of emotion and attentional focus on memory. More specifically, this study examined the impact of weapon focus effect (i.e. focusing all attention on the weapon) on human memory. In Experiment 1, participants viewed a series of 40 images, and offered a personal rating on a 5-point Likert scale to measure orientation, threat, valence, and arousal. Images across the categories of weapon focus, positive, and neutral were selected. In Experiment 2, 44 participants were presented with 18 images from the pilot study and word lists from the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm in order to examine the effect of weapon focus on true and false memory. In the DRM paradigm, participants are given a list of associative words (i.e. door, glass) presented during the study that are linked to a critical lure (i.e. window) and asked to recall both the associative words. Both true and false memories were examined in the present experiment. True and false memories represent different memorial processes. True memories are the immediate recall of associative words representative of short term or working memory, wherein, false memories represent episodic memories, requiring the use of reality monitoring processes to suppress false memories. This experiment allowed an examination of fuzzy-trace theory to explain false memory. It was hypothesized that emotion and arousal will increase both source and reality monitoring, resulting in greater reduction in false recall for critical lures for weapon focus pictures and highly emotional lures, representative of associative activation theory. Alternatively, it was hypothesized that highly emotional and arousing stimuli will prompt greater verbatim recall, again resulting in fewer false memories across highly emotional pictures (slides varying by weapon focus orientation) and words (words varying by valence), reflective of fuzzy-trace theory. Results indicated various effects of emotion on true and false recall.
|Advisor:||Smith, Theodore S.|
|Commitee:||Austin, Wesley, Breaux, Brooke O.|
|School:||University of Louisiana at Lafayette|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||MAI 54/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Emotional words, Recall, Weapon focus|
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