The Effect of Mood on Eyewitness Memory
In the present research, we investigated the effect of participants’ mood during encoding on true and false memory of an event using the misinformation paradigm. In addition, we also examined how the emotional content of the event interacted with participants’ mood during encoding to influence memory for that event. To do this, participants were randomly assigned to one of three induced-mood groups (positive, negative, or neutral) and were presented with a video recording of an event. Participants returned 24-hrs later, and were randomly assigned to one of three question groups (misleading, leading, or neutral). We found that false memory was higher for information pertaining to the negative scenes of the event than for information pertaining to the positive or neutral scenes of the event. Contrary to our hypothesis, we found that mood during encoding did not influence true or false memory of the event. These findings have important practical implications in the context of the courtroom where to-be-remembered events are often emotionally-laden in their content.
Advisor: Hayne, Harlene; Gross, Julien
Degree Name: Master of Science
Degree Discipline: Psychology
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Mood; memory; misinformation; false memory; eyewitness memory
Research Type: Thesis