Short- and longer-term effects of selective discussion of adolescents' autobiographical memories

Ruth Glynn, Karen Salmon, Jason Low
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 2019 March 18
We investigated whether selective discussion leads to retrieval-induced forgetting (RIF) for early to mid-adolescents' positive and negative autobiographical memories after delays of 5 min and 1 day. Adolescents (13-15 years of age; N = 58) completed an adapted version of the RIF paradigm for adults' emotionally valenced autobiographical memories. Following findings that RIF occurs for children's positive and negative memories and adults' negative autobiographical memories only, we posed three research questions. First, would RIF occur for adolescents' autobiographical memories after a short delay? Second, would adolescents demonstrate an RIF valence effect? Third, would any RIF findings be replicated after a longer delay? We found RIF for negative memories after both a short and longer delay. We also found RIF for positive memories, but only after the longer delay. The potential mechanisms underpinning these findings are discussed.

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