M. van den Hout
- Phenomenological validity of an OCD-memory model and the remember/know distinction
- Behaviour Research and Therapy
- Volume | Issue number
- 41 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
In earlier experiments using interactive computer animation with healthy subjects, it was found that displaying compulsive-like repeated checking behavior affects memory. That is, checking does not alter actual memory accuracy, but it does affect 'meta-memory': as checking continues, recollections are experienced as less vivid and less detailed while confidence in memory is undermined. This procedure provides a model of OCD checking and suggests that checking is a counterproductive strategy to reduce memory distrust. The present experiment was carried out to specify the phenomenological quality of memory distrust after checking and to see if repeated checking produces a shift in the memory source that is used to decide about the outcome of checking: from 'remembering' to 'knowing' (Tulving, 1985). Using the same interactive computer-animation, the earlier findings on vividness, detail and confidence were replicated. In addition, it was found that checking made participants endorse quotations from OCD patients (Reed, 1985) expressing a specific ambivalence about memory: 'It is as though the memory is there, but is isn't definite enough', 'I remember doing it in a way, but it's all fuzzy....' And 'I can remember that I've done it. But the memory isn't clear somehow'...
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