Memory & Cognition

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 648-656

First online:

Monitoring item and source information: Evidence for a negative generation effect in source memory

  • Paul J. JuricaAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of California
  • , Arthur P. ShimamuraAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of California Email author 


Item memory and source memory were assessed in a task that simulated a social conversation. Participants generated answers to questions or read statements presented by one of three sources (faces on a computer screen). Positive generation effects were observed for item memory. That is, participants remembered topics of conversation better if they were asked questions about the topics than if they simply read statements about topics. However, anegative generation effect occurred for source memory. That is, remembering the source of some information was disrupted if participants were required to answer questions pertaining to that information. These findings support the notion that item and source memory are mediated, as least in part, by different processes during encoding.