The effect of emotional valance on recollective experience and confidence judgments
The study investigated the effect of positive and negative emotional valence (I.A.P.S pictures) on recollective experience, using the remember-know paradigm (Tulving, 1985), and confidence judgements. The negative valenced pictures were hypothesised elicit the recollective experience to a larger extent and to entail a higher degree of confidence in the correctness of memory responses than positive valenced pictures. In the acquisition phase of all three experiments four pictures were presented simultaneously, one valenced picture (either positive or negative) and three neutral pictures. Next, in the test phase a recognition test of the valenced pictures followed. Depending on the experiment, the participants made new/old responses and either remember/know judgements of old responses or confidence judgements of the correctness of their new/old responses. The results of Experiment 1 and 2 showed that, compared with ”know” responses, the frequency of ”remember” responses was significantly higher for negative than for positive pictures. No differences in recognition memory performance were found between negative and positive pictures. The results of Experiment 3 showed that negative pictures was associated with slightly higher accuracy and significantly higher confidence judgements than positive pictures, and that realism in confidence judgements did not differ between the valence types. These results suggest that the emotional valence of witnessed events affect the phenomenological quality and degree of confidence of memorial testimony.
Psychology & Law International Interdisciplinary Conference 2003