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Attentional focus during repeated checking influences memory but not metamemory


Attentional focus during repeated checking influences memory but not metamemory

Ashbaugh, Andrea R (2004) Attentional focus during repeated checking influences memory but not metamemory. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Numerous studies demonstrate that compulsive checking is associated with reduced memory confidence (Muller & Roberts, in press; Woods, Vivea, Chambless, & Bayen, 2003). Some researchers have suggested that the act of repeated checking may result in decreased encoding and therefore decreased memory vividness and detail at recall. This in turn is proposed to lead to decreased confidence in one's memory (Radomsky, Rachman, & Hammond, 2001; Van den Hout & Kindt, 2003). It was therefore hypothesized that instructions to focus attention on one's surroundings as well as one's actions during a repeated checking task may attenuate decreases in memory confidence. Prior to a repeated checking task, 14 high checkers and 56 low checkers were instructed to focus not only on their actions but also on their surroundings (Peripheral condition), and 14 high checkers and 55 low checkers to focus only on their actions (Central condition). Contrary to expectations, peripheral focus instructions did not result in increased memory confidence compared with those who received central focus instructions. Peripheral instructions did, however, result in greater memory accuracy. Furthermore, the effect of peripheral focus on memory accuracy was largest for high checkers. Following a single check, high checkers exhibited lower memory confidence and a trend towards greater memory accuracy than low checkers, but surprisingly differences between the two groups disappeared following 30 checking trials. The implications of this are discussed in relation to cognitive models of OCD and compulsive checking.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Ashbaugh, Andrea R
Pagination:viii, 62 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Thesis Supervisor(s):Radomsky, Adam
ID Code:8041
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 18:13
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:32
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