Major memory for microblogs
Online social networking is vastly popular and permits its members to post their thoughts as microblogs, an opportunity that people exploit, on Facebook alone, over 30 million times an hour. Such trivial ephemera, one might think, should vanish quickly from memory; conversely, they may comprise the sort of information that our memories are tuned to recognize, if that which we readily generate, we also readily store. In the first two experiments, participants’ memory for Facebook posts was found to be strikingly stronger than their memory for human faces or sentences from books—a magnitude comparable to the difference in memory strength between amnesics and healthy controls. The second experiment suggested that this difference is not due to Facebook posts spontaneously generating social elaboration, because memory for posts is enhanced as much by adding social elaboration as is memory for book sentences. Our final experiment, using headlines, sentences, and reader comments from articles, suggested that the remarkable memory for microblogs is also not due to their completeness or simply their topic, but may be a more general phenomenon of their being the largely spontaneous and natural emanations of the human mind.
- Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117, 497–529. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.117.3.497 CrossRef
- Belmore, S. M. (1982). The role of imagery in recognition memory for sentences. Acta Psychologica, 50, 107–115. CrossRef
- Craik, F. I. M., & Lockhart, R. S. (1972). Levels of processing: A framework for memory research. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 11, 671–684. doi:10.1016/S0022-5371(72)80001-X CrossRef
- Dunbar, R. I. M. (2004). Gossip in evolutionary perspective. Review of General Psychology, 8, 100–110. CrossRef
- Emery, N. J. (2000). The eyes have it: The neuroethology, function and evolution of social gaze. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 24, 581–604. CrossRef
- Facebook.com. (2011). Facebook statistics [Website information]. Retrieved June 20, 2011, from www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics
- Glanzer, M., & Bowles, N. (1976). Analysis of the word-frequency effect in recognition memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory, 2, 21–31. CrossRef
- Griggs, B. (2009, August 20). The 12 most annoying types of Facebookers [Online article]. Retrieved from http://articles.cnn.com/2009-08-20/tech/annoying.facebook.updaters_1_facebook-users-friend-online-social-networks?_s=PM:TECH
- Kang, S. H. K., McDermott, K. B., & Cohen, S. M. (2008). The mnemonic advantage of processing fitness-relevant information. Memory & Cognition, 36, 1151–1156. doi:10.3758/MC.36.6.1151 CrossRef
- Kanwisher, N., McDermott, J., & Chun, M. M. (1997). The fusiform face area: A module in human extrastriate cortex specialized for face perception. Journal of Neuroscience, 17, 4302–4311.
- Keenan, J. M., MacWhinney, B., & Mayhew, D. (1977). Pragmatics in memory: A study of natural conversation. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 16, 549–560. doi:10.1016/S0022-5371(77)80018-2 CrossRef
- Klein, S. B., Cosmides, L., Gangi, C. E., Jackson, B., & Tooby, J. (2009). Evolution and episodic memory: An analysis and demonstration of a social function of episodic recollection. Social Cognition, 27, 283–319. CrossRef
- Macmillan, N. A., & Creelman, C. D. (2005). Detection theory: A user’s guide (2nd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
- Mandler, G. (1979). Organization and repetition: Organizational principles with special reference to rote learning. In L.-G. Nilsson (Ed.), Perspectives on memory research (pp. 293–327). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
- Manns, J. R., Hopkins, R. O., Reed, J. M., Kitchener, E. G., & Squire, L. R. (2003). Recognition memory and the human hippocampus. Neuron, 37, 171–180. CrossRef
- Merz, C. J., Wolf, C. T., & Hennig, J. (2010). Stress impairs retrieval of socially relevant information. Behavioral Neuroscience, 124, 288–293. CrossRef
- Mickes, L., Wixted, J. T., & Wais, P. E. (2007). A direct test of the unequal-variance signal detection model of recognition memory. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 14, 858–865. doi:10.3758/BF03194112 CrossRef
- Nairne, J. S., & Pandeirada, J. N. S. (2010). Adaptive memory: Nature’s criterion and the functionalist agenda. The American Journal of Psychology, 123, 381–390.
- Nairne, J. S., Pandeirada, J. N. S., & Thompson, S. R. (2008). Adaptive memory: The comparative value of survival processing. Psychological Science, 19, 176–180. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02064.x CrossRef
- Nairne, J. S., Thompson, S. R., & Pandeirada, J. N. S. (2007). Adaptive memory: Survival processing enhances retention. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 33, 263–273. doi:10.1037/0278-73126.96.36.1993 CrossRef
- Schiefele, U., & Krapp, A. (1996). Topic interest and free recall of expository text. Learning and Individual Differences, 8, 141–160. CrossRef
- Takahashi, T., Ikeda, K., Ishikawa, M., Tsukasaki, T., Nakama, D., Tanida, S., & Kameda, T. (2004). Social stress-induced cortisol elevation acutely impairs social memory in humans. Neuroscience Letters, 363, 125–130. CrossRef
- Major memory for microblogs
Memory & Cognition
Volume 41, Issue 4 , pp 481-489
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Additional Links
- Levels of processing
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Psychology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, 92093-0109, USA
- 4. Department of Psychology, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 AL7, UK
- 2. University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, 92093-0109, USA
- 3. University of Scranton, Scranton, NJ, USA