Retrieval and Attention: Factors that Potentiate Learning and Enhance Eyewitness Suggestibility.
Abstract: Research has demonstrated that taking a test prior to receiving
misleading information can lead to greater susceptibility to misinformation (Chan, Thomas,
& Bulevich, 2009). The present dissertation aimed to fit these findings within a larger
literature on forward effects of testing (e. g., Tulving & Watkins, 1974; Wissman,
Rawson, & Pyc, 2011), where initial testing enhances encodin... read moreg and learning of
subsequently presented information. The present set of experiments examined attention as a
possible mechanism underlying the relationship between testing, new learning, and the
likelihood of reporting new details in the misinformation paradigm. The pattern of results
obtained across experiments indicate that attention to post-event information may impact
enhanced suggestibility, and that testing may be one way to promote attention. In contrast,
attention was not as important toward facilitating a deeper learning of new, post-test
information. These results suggest that retrieval enhanced suggestibility is not merely an
indirect example of test-potentiated learning, or forward effects. Rather, retrieval
enhanced suggestibility results from a retrieval fluency bias, which may accumulate via an
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Tufts University, 2015.
Submitted to the Dept. of Psychology.
Advisor: Ayanna Thomas.
Committee: John Bulevich, Ariel Goldberg, Nate Kornell, and Holly Taylor.
Keyword: Cognitive psychology.read less