A robust preference for cheap-and-easy strategies over reliable strategies when verifying personal memories

Robert A. Nash, Kimberley A. Wade, Maryanne Garry, James S. Adelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

People depend on various sources of information when trying to verify their autobiographical memories. Yet recent research shows that people prefer to use cheap-and-easy verification strategies, even when these strategies are not reliable. We examined the robustness of this cheap strategy bias, with scenarios designed to encourage greater emphasis on source reliability. In three experiments, subjects described real (Experiments 1 and 2) or hypothetical (Experiment 3) autobiographical events, and proposed strategies they might use to verify their memories of those events. Subjects also rated the reliability, cost, and the likelihood that they would use each strategy. In line with previous work, we found that the preference for cheap information held when people described how they would verify childhood or recent memories (Experiment 1); personally-important or trivial memories (Experiment 2), and even when the consequences of relying on incorrect information could be significant (Experiment 3). Taken together, our findings fit with an account of source monitoring in which the tendency to trust one’s own autobiographical memories can discourage people from systematically testing or accepting strong disconfirmatory evidence.
LanguageEnglish
Pages890-899
Number of pages10
JournalMemory
Volume25
Early online date2 Aug 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017

Fingerprint

Episodic Memory
Costs and Cost Analysis
Research
Experiment
Autobiographical Memory

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Memory on 02/08/2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09658211.2016.1214280

Keywords

  • autobiographical memory
  • nonbelieved memories
  • false memory
  • decision making
  • cost

Cite this

Nash, Robert A. ; Wade, Kimberley A. ; Garry, Maryanne ; Adelman, James S. / A robust preference for cheap-and-easy strategies over reliable strategies when verifying personal memories. In: Memory. 2017 ; Vol. 25. pp. 890-899.
@article{1bda265b2b95408184f200bc9031ea45,
title = "A robust preference for cheap-and-easy strategies over reliable strategies when verifying personal memories",
abstract = "People depend on various sources of information when trying to verify their autobiographical memories. Yet recent research shows that people prefer to use cheap-and-easy verification strategies, even when these strategies are not reliable. We examined the robustness of this cheap strategy bias, with scenarios designed to encourage greater emphasis on source reliability. In three experiments, subjects described real (Experiments 1 and 2) or hypothetical (Experiment 3) autobiographical events, and proposed strategies they might use to verify their memories of those events. Subjects also rated the reliability, cost, and the likelihood that they would use each strategy. In line with previous work, we found that the preference for cheap information held when people described how they would verify childhood or recent memories (Experiment 1); personally-important or trivial memories (Experiment 2), and even when the consequences of relying on incorrect information could be significant (Experiment 3). Taken together, our findings fit with an account of source monitoring in which the tendency to trust one’s own autobiographical memories can discourage people from systematically testing or accepting strong disconfirmatory evidence.",
keywords = "autobiographical memory, nonbelieved memories, false memory, decision making, cost",
author = "Nash, {Robert A.} and Wade, {Kimberley A.} and Maryanne Garry and Adelman, {James S.}",
note = "This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Memory on 02/08/2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09658211.2016.1214280",
year = "2017",
month = "7",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1080/09658211.2016.1214280",
language = "English",
volume = "25",
pages = "890--899",
journal = "Memory",
issn = "0965-8211",
publisher = "Psychology Press",

}

A robust preference for cheap-and-easy strategies over reliable strategies when verifying personal memories. / Nash, Robert A.; Wade, Kimberley A.; Garry, Maryanne; Adelman, James S.

In: Memory, Vol. 25, 01.07.2017, p. 890-899.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - A robust preference for cheap-and-easy strategies over reliable strategies when verifying personal memories

AU - Nash, Robert A.

AU - Wade, Kimberley A.

AU - Garry, Maryanne

AU - Adelman, James S.

N1 - This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Memory on 02/08/2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09658211.2016.1214280

PY - 2017/7/1

Y1 - 2017/7/1

N2 - People depend on various sources of information when trying to verify their autobiographical memories. Yet recent research shows that people prefer to use cheap-and-easy verification strategies, even when these strategies are not reliable. We examined the robustness of this cheap strategy bias, with scenarios designed to encourage greater emphasis on source reliability. In three experiments, subjects described real (Experiments 1 and 2) or hypothetical (Experiment 3) autobiographical events, and proposed strategies they might use to verify their memories of those events. Subjects also rated the reliability, cost, and the likelihood that they would use each strategy. In line with previous work, we found that the preference for cheap information held when people described how they would verify childhood or recent memories (Experiment 1); personally-important or trivial memories (Experiment 2), and even when the consequences of relying on incorrect information could be significant (Experiment 3). Taken together, our findings fit with an account of source monitoring in which the tendency to trust one’s own autobiographical memories can discourage people from systematically testing or accepting strong disconfirmatory evidence.

AB - People depend on various sources of information when trying to verify their autobiographical memories. Yet recent research shows that people prefer to use cheap-and-easy verification strategies, even when these strategies are not reliable. We examined the robustness of this cheap strategy bias, with scenarios designed to encourage greater emphasis on source reliability. In three experiments, subjects described real (Experiments 1 and 2) or hypothetical (Experiment 3) autobiographical events, and proposed strategies they might use to verify their memories of those events. Subjects also rated the reliability, cost, and the likelihood that they would use each strategy. In line with previous work, we found that the preference for cheap information held when people described how they would verify childhood or recent memories (Experiment 1); personally-important or trivial memories (Experiment 2), and even when the consequences of relying on incorrect information could be significant (Experiment 3). Taken together, our findings fit with an account of source monitoring in which the tendency to trust one’s own autobiographical memories can discourage people from systematically testing or accepting strong disconfirmatory evidence.

KW - autobiographical memory

KW - nonbelieved memories

KW - false memory

KW - decision making

KW - cost

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84980383633&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://dx.doi.org/10.17036/dcf4b463-35fd-41da-8710-b91b5967c2b4

U2 - 10.1080/09658211.2016.1214280

DO - 10.1080/09658211.2016.1214280

M3 - Article

VL - 25

SP - 890

EP - 899

JO - Memory

T2 - Memory

JF - Memory

SN - 0965-8211

ER -