Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
An important aspect of accurate eyewitness testimony is not only being able to recall the details of an event, but being able to trace that memory back to its source or origin (Johnson, Hashtroudi, & Lindsay, 1993). The current study examined the use of two memory enhancement interventions to improve the accuracy of source memory, or the correct attribution of a memory to its origin, and free recall. The first intervention, motivational instructions, informed participants that they are capable of recalling an event if they try their best. The second intervention, focused meditation, used a breathing exercise to focus individuals' attention while they recalled the to-be-remembered stimuli. The study compared the efficacy of these two interventions to one another and a control condition in which participants completed the source monitoring test and free recall task without receiving a memory enhancement intervention.;Fifty-nine undergraduate college student participants viewed a video of an event and then answered written questions. Two days later, participants either received a memory enhancement technique or no technique. Following this, they received a source monitoring test during which participants listened to statements and were asked to identify the source of the statement. Next, they free recalled all details they remembered about the event. The number of correct ideas recalled and the number of incorrect ideas were calculated and statistically compared across conditions. The number of correct responses to the source monitoring questions was also compared across conditions.;The two memory enhancement techniques were not found to increase source monitoring accuracy or accurate free recall compared to the no-intervention control condition. These results suggest that focused meditation and motivational instructions may not be effective in increasing accurate source memory on the source monitoring task that was used. The result that these techniques did not increase free recall is unexpected, and may be due to procedural ideas of the study design.
Travers, Ria M., "The Influence of Memory Enhancement Techniques on Source Monitoring" (2013). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 5008.