Psychological Research

, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 260–270 | Cite as

The contextualization of input and output events in memory

  • Asher Koriat
  • Hasida Ben-Zur
  • Anath Druch
Article

Summary

Several observations from everyday life suggest that people are deficient in monitoring their own actions, often forgetting that they have already performed a planned act, or experiencing doubt as to whether they have done so. These observations appear inconsistent with the many laboratory studies that indicate that people are quite efficient in monitoring their own actions. Towards the resolution of this discrepancy we proposed that: (a) output monitoring in real life often requires the retrieval of a specific, contextually framed episode rather than mere familiarity with an event, and (b) output events are less strongly integrated with their environmental contexts than input events are. Therefore, despite the output advantage that is frequently reported in occurrence memory, context memory should be relatively less efficient for output than for input events. This hypothesis received some support in Experiment 1, in which generated verbal responses were remembered better than read responses, but the difference was significantly smaller for context than for occurrence memory. Experiment 2 employed a task simulating a two-person interaction. While occurrence memory was superior for self-performed tasks to that for other-performed tasks, context memory was in fact inferior for the former tasks. These results were seen to suggest that self-initiated actions tend to undergo a weaker contextual integration than events that originate from a source external to the person.

Keywords

Everyday Life Laboratory Study Real Life Environmental Context Verbal Response 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Anderson, R. E. (1984). Did I do it or did I only imagine doing it?Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 113, 594–613.Google Scholar
  2. Backman, L., & Nilsson, L.-G. (1984). Aging effects in free recall: An exception to the rule.Human Learning, 3, 53–69.Google Scholar
  3. Backman, L., Nilsson, L.-G., & Chalom, D. (1986). New evidence on the nature of the encoding of action events.Memory & Cognition, 14, 339–346.Google Scholar
  4. Baddeley, A. D. (1982). Domains of recollection.Psychological Review, 89, 708–729.Google Scholar
  5. Banaji, M. R., & Crowder, R. G. (1989). The bankruptcy of everyday memory.American Psychologist, 44, 1185–1193.Google Scholar
  6. Begg, I., Snider, A., Foley, F., & Goddard, R. (1989). The generation effect is no artifact: Generating makes words distinctive.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 15, 977–989.Google Scholar
  7. Brewer, W. F. (1988). Memory for randomly sampled autobiographical events. In U. Neisser, & E. Winograd (Eds.),Remembering reconsidered: Ecological and traditional approaches to the study of memory (pp. 21–90). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Cohen, R. L. (1981). On the generality of some memory laws.Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 22, 267–281.Google Scholar
  9. Cohen, R. L. (1983). The effect of encoding variables on the free recall of words and action events.Memory & Cognition, 11, 575–582.Google Scholar
  10. Craik, F. I. M. (1989). On the making of episodes. In H. L. Roediger, III & F. I. M. Craik (Eds.),Varieties of memory and consciousness: Essays in honour of Endel Tulving (pp. 43–57). Hillsdale: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  11. Engelkamp, J. (1986). Nouns and verbs in paired-associate learning: Instructional effects.Psychological Research, 48, 153–159.Google Scholar
  12. Engelkamp, J. (1990). Memory of action events: Some implications for memory theory and for imagery. In C. Cornoldi & M. McDaniel (Eds.),Imagery and cognition. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  13. Engelkamp, J., & Zimmer, H. D. (1984). Motor programme information as a separable memory unit.Psychological Research, 46, 283–299.Google Scholar
  14. Engelkamp, J., Zimmer, H. D., & Denis, M. (1989). Paired associate learning of action verbs with visual- or motor-imaginal encoding instructions.Psychological Research, 50, 257–263.Google Scholar
  15. Gardiner, J. M., Passmore, C., Herriot, P., & Klee, H. (1977). Memory for remembered events: Effects of response mode and response-produced feedback.Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 16, 45–54.Google Scholar
  16. Hasher, L., & Zacks, R. T. (1979). Automatic and effortful processes in memory.Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 108, 356–388.Google Scholar
  17. Helstrup, T. (1986). Separate memory laws for recall of performed acts?Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 27, 1–29.Google Scholar
  18. Helstrup, T. (1987). One, two, or three memories? A problem-solving approach to memory for performed acts.Acta Psychologica, 66, 37–68.Google Scholar
  19. Helstrup, T. (1989). Loci for act recall: Contextual influence on the processing of action events.Psychological Research, 51, 168–175.Google Scholar
  20. Hirshman, E., & Bjork, R. A. (1988). The generation effect: Support for a two-factor theory.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 14, 484–494.Google Scholar
  21. Johnson, M. K. (1988). Reality monitoring: an experimental phenomenological approach.Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 117, 390–394.Google Scholar
  22. Kanwisher, N. G. (1987). Repetition blindness: Type recognition without token individuation.Cognition, 27, 117–143.Google Scholar
  23. Kausler, D. H., & Hakami, M. K. (1983). Memory for activities: Adult age differences and intentionality.Developmental Psychology, 19, 889–894.Google Scholar
  24. Kausler, D. H., Mein, D. M., & Overcast, T. D. (1975). Item recognition following a multiple item study for young and middle-aged adults.Experimental Aging Research, 71, 243–250.Google Scholar
  25. Koriat, A., & Ben-Zur, H. (1988). Remembering that I did it: Processes and deficits in output monitoring. In M. M. Gruneberg, P. E. Morris, & R. N. Sykes (Eds.),Practical aspects of memory: Current research and issues, Vol. 1 (pp. 203–208). Chichester: Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
  26. Koriat, A., Ben-Zur, H., & Sheffer, D. (1988). Telling the same story twice: Output monitoring and age.Journal of Memory and Language, 27, 23–39.Google Scholar
  27. Lewin, K. (1951).Field theory in social science. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  28. Mandler, G. (1980). Recognizing: The judgment of previous occurrence.Psychological Review, 87, 252–271.Google Scholar
  29. McCormak, P. D. (1984). Temporal coding by young and elderly adults in a list-differentiation setting.Bulletin of The Psychonomic Society, 22, 401–402.Google Scholar
  30. McDaniel, M. A., Waddill, P. J., & Einstein, G. O. (1988). A contextual account of the generation effect: A three-factor theory.Journal of Memory and Language, 27, 521–536.Google Scholar
  31. Neisser, U. (1978). Memory: What are the important questions? In M. M. Gruneberg, P. E. Morris, & R. N. Sykes (Eds.),Practical aspects of memory (pp. 3–24). London: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  32. Neisser, U. (1988). Time present and time past. In M. M. Gruneberg, P. E. Morris, & R. N. Sykes (Eds.),Practical aspects of memory: Current research and issues, Vol. 2 (pp. 545–560). Chichester: Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
  33. Nilsson, L.-G., & Cohen, R. L. (1988). Enrichment and generation in the recall of enacted and non-enacted instructions, In M. M. Gruneberg, P. E. Morris, & R. N. Sykes (Eds.),Practical aspects of memory: Current research and issues, Vol. 1 (pp. 427–432). Chichester: Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
  34. Rapoport, J. L. (1989). The biology of obsessions and compulsions.Scientific American, 260, 63–69.Google Scholar
  35. Reason, J. (1983). Lapses of attention in everyday life. In W. Parasuraman, D. Davis, & J. Beatty (Eds.),Aspects of consciousness, Vol. 1 (pp. 515–549). London: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  36. Reed, G. F. (1985).Obsessional experience and compulsive behavior: A cognitive-structural approach. Orlando: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  37. Sher, K. J., Frost, R. O., & Otto, R. (1983). Cognitive deficits in compulsive checkers: an exploratory study.Behavior Research Therapy, 21, 357–363.Google Scholar
  38. Slamecka, N. J., & Graf, P. (1978). The generation effect: Delineation of a phenomenon.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory, 4, 592–604.Google Scholar
  39. Slamecka, N. J., & Katsaib, K. T. (1987). The generation effect as an artifact of selective displaced rehearsal.Journal of Memory and Language, 26,589–607.Google Scholar
  40. Tulving, E. (1985). How many memory systems are there?American Psychologist, 40, 385–398.Google Scholar
  41. Zimmer, H. D., & Engelkamp, J. (1989). Does motor encoding enhance relational information?Psychological Research, 51, 158–167.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Asher Koriat
    • 1
  • Hasida Ben-Zur
    • 1
  • Anath Druch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael

Personalised recommendations