The Situationist

Posts Tagged ‘memories’

Memory and Morality

Posted by The Situationist Staff on February 18, 2011

Francesca Gino and Sreedhari Desai recently posted their paper, “Memory Lane and Morality: How Childhood Memories Promote Prosocial Behavior” on SSRN.  Here’s the abstract.

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Four experiments demonstrated that recalling memories from one’s own childhood lead people to experience feelings of moral purity and to behave prosocially. In Experiment 1, participants instructed to recall memories from their childhood were more likely to help the experimenter with a supplementary task than were participants in a control condition, and this effect was mediated by self-reported feelings of moral purity. In Experiment 2, the same manipulation increased the amount of money participants donated to a good cause, and self-reported feelings of moral purity mediated this relationship. In Experiment 3, participants who recalled childhood memories judged the ethically-questionable behavior of others more harshly, suggesting that childhood memories lead to altruistic punishment. Finally, in Experiment 4, compared to a control condition, both positively-valenced and negatively-valenced childhood memories led to higher empathic concern for a person in need, which, in turn increased intentions to help.

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Download the paper for free here.

Related Situationist posts:

Posted in Abstracts, Morality | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Emotional Content of True and False Memories – Abstract

Posted by The Situationist Staff on December 8, 2008

Cara Laney and Elizabeth Loftus recently published their interesting article, Emotional Content of True and False Memories (16  Psychol. Press 500-516 (2008) on SSRN.  Here’s the abstract.

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Many people believe that emotional memories (including those that arise in therapy) are particularly likely to represent true events because of their emotional content. But is emotional content a reliable indicator of memory accuracy? The current research assessed the emotional content of participants’ pre-existing (true) and manipulated (false) memories for childhood events. False memories for one of three emotional childhood events were planted using a suggestive manipulation and then compared, a long several subjective dimensions, with other participants’ true memories. On most emotional dimensions (e.g., how emotional was this event for you?), true and false memories were indistinguishable. On a few measures (e.g., intensity of feelings at the time of the event), true memories were more emotional than false memories in the aggregate, yet true and false memories were equally likely to be rated as uniformly emotional. These results suggest that even substantial emotional content may not reliably indicate memory accuracy.

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To read some related Situationist posts, see “The Situation of Memory,”  “TAL Animation on the Situation of Memory, ” “The Interior Situation of Complex Human Feelings,” “Emotions, Values, and Information: The Future of Nanotechnology,” and “Situating Emotion.”

Posted in Abstracts, Emotions | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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