Do Distress Responses to a Traumatic Film Predict Susceptibility to the Misinformation Effect?

  • Lauren A. Monds, Helen M. Paterson, Richard I. Kemp, Richard A. Bryant
  • Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, October 2013, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/15299732.2013.804475

Distress and the Misinformation Effect

What is it about?

Eyewitness are often required to report their memories for stressful, rather than neutral, events. It is important to consider how distress may impact memory accuracy. The misinformation effect details how misleading post event information can influence subsequent memory for the event. This study looks at memory accuracy and the misinformation effect following viewing of either a stressful or neutral film. Specific distress responses are considered: avoidance, intrusions, and dissociation.

Why is it important?

This is one of the first studies to demonstrate that the types of distress responses may impact memory accuracy and false memories in different ways: Intrusions seem to promote accuracy, whereas avoidance seems to promote false memories.

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The following have contributed to this page: Lauren Monds