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Effects of Eye-Closure & Schematic Information on Memory Accuracy & Confidence in a Witness Testimony Situation

Almugathwi, Manal (2016) Effects of Eye-Closure & Schematic Information on Memory Accuracy & Confidence in a Witness Testimony Situation. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)


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The aim of the current study is to investigate the effects of eye-closure on true and false memory for schematic and non-schematic information. Sixty-four participants were presented with a narrative concerning a bank robbery; within this, information was provided that was highly prototypical (schematic) or non- prototypical (non-schematic) of a robbery. After a delay, memory was assessed with eyes open or eyes closed. The memory test consisted of an item recognition task for events followed by a confidence scale. The items on the test consisted of either studied or non-studied information, which was either schematic or non- schematic. It is hypothesised that (i) eye-closure will reduce false memory and increase true memory accuracy, and (ii) the eye condition will interact with the prototypically of the information. In addition, it is predicted that confidence ratings will mirror the effects of memory accuracy. The findings do not support the hypothesis that predicted that true memory accuracy and confidence would be enhanced and false memory would be reduced following eye-closure. However, the hypothesis that true and false memory would be related to schema relevance was supported. Greater memory recall was reported for studied schema-relevant items (irrespective of eye condition). However, higher false alarms was reported for non-studied schema-relevant items (greater false memory). Therefore, it can be said that schematic information is better remembered when studied and more likely to produce false memories when not studied.

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