Advertisement

Behavior Research Methods

, Volume 51, Issue 4, pp 1510–1530 | Cite as

Autobiographical recall of personally familiar names and temporal information in e-mails: An automatic analytic approach using e-mail communications

  • Abhilasha A. KumarEmail author
  • Sudheendra Hangal
  • Allyson C. Rosen
Article

Abstract

An important question that arises from autobiographical memory research is whether the variables that influence memory in the laboratory also drive memory for autobiographical episodes in real life. We explored this question within the context of e-mail communications and investigated the variables that influence recall for personally familiar names and temporal information in e-mails. We designed a Web-based program that analyzed each participant’s year-old sent e-mail archive and applied textual analysis algorithms to identify a set of sentences likely to be memorable. These sentences were then used as the stimuli in a cued recall task. Participants saw two sentences from their sent e-mail as a cue and attempted to recall the name of the e-mail recipient. Participants also rated the vividness of recall for the e-mail conversation and estimated the month in which they had written the e-mail. Linear mixed-effect analyses revealed that recipient name recall accuracy decreased with longer retention intervals and increased with greater frequency of contact with the recipient. Also, with longer retention intervals, participants dated e-mails as being more recent than their actual month. This telescoping error was moderately larger for e-mails with greater sentiment. These findings suggest that memory for personally familiar names and temporal information in e-mails closely follows the patterns for autobiographical memory and proper-name recall found in laboratory settings. This study introduces an innovative, Web-based experimental method for studying the cognitive processes related to autobiographical memories using ecologically valid, naturalistic communications.

Keywords

Autobiographical memory Text mining Natural language processing 

Notes

Supplementary material

13428_2018_1182_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (144 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 143 kb)

References

  1. Allen, P. J., & Roberts, L. D. (2010). The ethics of outsourcing online survey research. International Journal of Technoethics, 1, 35–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. American Psychological Association. (2002). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct (Online resource). Retrieved December 7, 2010, from https://www.apa.org/ethics/code/.
  3. Anderson, J. R., & Schooler, L. J. (1991). Reflections of the environment in memory. Psychological Science, 2, 396–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baccianella, S., Esuli, A., & Sebastiani, F. (2010). SentiWordNet 3.0: An enhanced lexical resource for sentiment analysis and opinion mining. In N. Calzolari, K. Choukri, B. Maegaard, J. Mariani, J. Odijk, S. Piperidis, … D. Tapias (Eds.), Proceedings of LREC 2010 (pp. 2200–2204). Luxembourg City: European Language Resources Association.Google Scholar
  5. Bates, D. M., & Sarkar, D. (2005). The lme4 library (Software library). Retrieved from https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=lme4
  6. Berry, E., Kapur, N., Williams, L., Hodges, S., Watson, P., Smyth, G., … Wood, K. (2007). The use of a wearable camera, SenseCam, as a pictorial diary to improve autobiographical memory in a patient with limbic encephalitis: A preliminary report. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 17, 582–601.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Betz, A. L., & Skowronski, J. J. (1997). Self-events and other-events: Temporal dating and event memory. Memory & Cognition, 25, 701–714.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bluck, S., & Li, K. Z. H. (2001). Predicting memory completeness and accuracy: Emotion and exposure in repeated autobiographical recall. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 15, 145–158.  https://doi.org/10.1002/1099-0720(200103/04)15:2<145::AID-ACP693>3.0.CO;2-T CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Borrini, G., Dall’Ora, P., Della Sala, S., Marinelli, L., & Spinnler, H. (1989). Autobiographical memory. Sensitivity to age and education of a standardized enquiry. Psychological Medicine, 19, 215–224.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Brédart, S., Brennen, T., Delchambre, M., McNeill, A., & Burton, A. M. (2005). Naming very familiar people: When retrieving names is faster than retrieving semantic biographical information. British Journal of Psychology, 96, 205–214.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Brown, G. D. A., Neath, I., & Chater, N. (2007). A temporal ratio model of memory. Psychological Review, 114, 539–576.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.114.3.539 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. Buchanan, T., & Williams, J. E. (2010). Ethical issues in psychological research on the Internet. In S. D. Gosling & J. A. Johnson (Eds.), Advanced methods for conducting online behavioral research (pp. 255–271). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Burke, D. M., MacKay, D. G., Worthley, J. S., & Wade, E. (1991). On the tip of the tongue: What causes word finding failures in young and older adults?. Journal of Memory and Language, 30, 542–579.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cohen, G., & Burke, D. M. (1993). Memory for proper names: A review. Memory, 1, 249–263.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Condret-Santi, V., Barragan-Jason, G., Valton, L., Denuelle, M., Curot, J., Nespoulous, J. L., & Barbeau, E. J. (2014). Object and proper name retrieval in temporal lobe epilepsy: A study of difficulties and latencies. Epilepsy Research, 108, 1825–1838.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Crovitz, H. F., & Schiffman, H. (1974). Frequency of episodic memories as a function of their age. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society, 4, 517–518.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Crowder, M. J. (1976). Maximum likelihood estimation for dependent observations. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series B, 38, 45–53.Google Scholar
  18. D’Angelo, M. C., & Humphreys, K. R. (2015). Tip-of-the-tongue states reoccur because of implicit learning, but resolving them helps, Cognition, 142, 166–190.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Dennis, S., Yim, H., Sreekumar, V., Evans, N. J., Garrett, P., & Sederberg, P. (2017). A hierarchical Bayesian model of “memory for when” based on experience sampling data. In G. Gunzelmann, A. Howes, T. Tenbrink, & E. Davelaar (Eds.), Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 295–300). Austin: Cognitive Science Society.Google Scholar
  20. Emery, K. (2014). So you want to do an online study: Ethics considerations and lessons learned. Ethics & Behavior, 24, 293–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Finkel, J. R., Grenager, T., & Manning, C. (2005). Incorporating non-local information into information extraction systems by Gibbs sampling. In Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Meeting on Association for Computational Linguistics (pp. 363–370). Stroudsburg: Association for Computational Linguistics.Google Scholar
  22. Hangal, S., Chan, P., Lam, M. S., & Heer, J. (2012). Processing email archives in special collections. Paper presented at the Digital Humanities Conference, Hamburg.Google Scholar
  23. Hangal, S., Lam, M. S., & Heer, J. (2011). Muse: Reviving memories using email archives. In Proceedings of the 24th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (pp. 75–84). New York: ACM Press.Google Scholar
  24. Hodges, S., Williams, L., Berry, E., Izadi, S., Srinivasan, J., Butler, A., … Wood, K. (2006). SenseCam: A retrospective memory aid. In International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing (pp. 177–193). Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
  25. Hoerger, M., & Currell, C. (2012). Ethical issues in Internet research. In S. J. Knapp, M. C. Gottlieb, M. M. Handelsman, & L. D. VandeCreek (Eds.), APA handbook of ethics in psychology Vol. 2. Practice, teaching, and research (pp. 385–400). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.  https://doi.org/10.1037/13272-018 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Howard, M. W., & Kahana, M. J. (2002). A distributed representation of temporal context. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 46, 269–299.  https://doi.org/10.1006/jmps.2001.1388 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Juncos-Rabadán, O., Facal, D., Lojo-Seoane, C., & Pereiro, A. X. (2013). Does tip-of-the-tongue for proper names discriminate amnestic mild cognitive impairment?. International Psychogeriatrics, 25, 627–634.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Kampf, M., Nachson, I., & Babkoff, H. (2002). A serial test of the laterality of familiar face recognition. Brain and Cognition, 50, 35–50.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Kensinger, E. A., & Corkin, S. (2004). Two routes to emotional memory: Distinct neural processes for valence and arousal. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 101, 3310–3315.  https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0306408101
  30. Kopelman, M. D., Wilson, B. A., & Baddeley, A. D. (1989). The autobiographical memory interview: a new assessment of autobiographical and personal semantic memory in amnesic patients. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 11, 724–744.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Kraut, R., Olson, J., Banaji, M., Bruckman, A., Cohen, J., & Couper, M. (2004). Psychological research online: report of Board of Scientific Affairs’ Advisory Group on the Conduct of Research on the Internet. American Psychologist, 59, 105–117.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066x.59.2.105 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Levine, B., Svoboda, E., Hay, J. F., Winocur, G., & Moscovitch, M. (2002). Aging and autobiographical memory: Dissociating episodic from semantic retrieval. Psychology and Aging, 17, 677–689.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0882-7974.17.4.677 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  33. MacWhinney, B., & Snow, C. (1985). The child language data exchange system. Journal of Child Language, 12, 271–295.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S0305000900006449 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Maddock, R. J., Garrett, A. S., & Buonocore, M. H. (2001). Remembering familiar people: The posterior cingulate cortex and autobiographical memory retrieval. Neuroscience, 104, 667–676.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Middleton, E. L., & Schwartz, M. F. (2013). Learning to fail in aphasia: An investigation of error learning in naming. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 56, 1287–1297.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  36. Moreton, B. J., & Ward, G. (2010). Time scale similarity and long-term memory for autobiographical events. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 17, 510–515.  https://doi.org/10.3758/PBR.17.3.510 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Murdock, B. B., Jr. (1960). The immediate retention of unrelated words. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 60, 222–234.  https://doi.org/10.1037/h0045145 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Naglieri, J. A., Drasgow, F., Schmit, M., Handler, L., Prifitera, A., Margolis, A., & Velasquez, R. (2004). Psychological testing on the Internet: New problems, old issues. American Psychologist, 59, 150–162.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.59.3.150 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Nagpal, A., Hangal, S., Joyee, R. R., & Lam, M. S. (2012). Friends, romans, countrymen: lend me your URLs. using social chatter to personalize web search. In Proceedings of the ACM 2012 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (pp. 461–470). New York: ACM Press.Google Scholar
  40. Nielson, D. M., Smith, T. A., Sreekumar, V., Dennis, S., & Sederberg, P. B. (2015). Human hippocampus represents space and time during retrieval of real-world memories. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112, 11078–11083.  https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1507104112 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Nosek, B. A., Banaji, M. R., & Greenwald, A. G. (2002). E-research: Ethics, security, design, and control in psychological research on the Internet. Journal of Social Issues, 58, 161–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Ossher, L., Flegal, K. E., & Lustig, C. (2013). Everyday memory errors in older adults. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, 20, 220–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Palombo, D. J., Williams, L. J., Abdi, H., & Levine, B. (2013). The survey of autobiographical memory (SAM): A novel measure of trait mnemonics in everyday life. Cortex, 49, 1526–1540.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Park, A., & Conway, M. (2017). Longitudinal changes in psychological states in online health community members: Understanding the long-term effects of participating in an online depression community. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 19, e71.  https://doi.org/10.2196/jmir.6826 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  45. Piolino, P., Desgranges, B., Benali, K., & Eustache, F. (2002). Episodic and semantic remote autobiographical memory in ageing. Memory, 10, 239–257.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Polyn, S. M., Norman, K. A., & Kahana, M. J. (2009). A context maintenance and retrieval model of organizational processes in free recall. Psychological Review, 116, 129–156.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0014420 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  47. R Core Team. (2017). R: A language and environment for statistical computing (Version 3.4.2). Vienna, Austria: R Foundation for Statistical Computing. Retrieved from www.R-project.org.
  48. Rubin, D. C. (1982). On the retention function for autobiographical memory. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 21, 21–38.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-5371(82)90423-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Rubin, D. C., & Baddeley, A. D. (1989). Telescoping is not time compression: A model. Memory & Cognition, 17, 653–661.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Rubin, D. C., & Siegler, I. C. (2004). Facets of personality and the phenomenology of autobiographical memory. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 18, 913–930.  https://doi.org/10.1002/acp.1038 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Rubin, D. C., & Wenzel, A. E. (1996). One hundred years of forgetting: A quantitative description of retention. Psychological Review, 103, 734–760.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.103.4.734 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Schneider, J., Chan, P., Edwards, G., & Hangal, S. (2017). ePADD: Computational analysis software facilitating screening, browsing, and access for historically and culturally valuable email collections. D-Lib Magazine, 23(5/6).  https://doi.org/10.1045/may2017-schneider
  53. Sergent, J. (1986). Microgenesis of face perception. In Aspects of face processing (pp. 17–33). Berlin: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Sheldon, S., & Levine, B. (2013). Same as it ever was: Vividness modulates the similarities and differences between the neural networks that support retrieving remote and recent autobiographical memories. NeuroImage, 83, 880–891.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Sugiura, M., Sassa, Y., Watanabe, J., Akitsuki, Y., Maeda, Y., Matsue, Y., … Kawashima, R. (2006). Cortical mechanisms of person representation: Recognition of famous and personally familiar names. NeuroImage, 31, 853–860.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Talarico, J. M., LaBar, K. S., & Rubin, D. C. (2004). Emotional intensity predicts autobiographical memory experience. Memory & Cognition, 32, 1118–1132.  https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03196886 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Tan, C., Niculae, V., Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil, C., & Lee, L. (2016). Winning arguments: Interaction dynamics and persuasion strategies in good-faith online discussions. In Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on World Wide Web (pp. 613–624). Geneva: International World Wide Web Conferences Steering Committee.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Tausczik, Y. R., & Pennebaker, J. W. (2010). The psychological meaning of words: LIWC and computerized text analysis methods. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 29, 24–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Thompson, C. P. (1982). Memory for unique personal events: The roommate study. Memory & Cognition, 10, 324–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Thompson, C. P., Skowronski, J. J., & Lee, D. J. (1988). Telescoping in dating naturally occurring events. Memory & Cognition, 16, 461–468.  https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03214227 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Wagenaar, W. A. (1986). My memory: A study of autobiographical memory over six years. Cognitive Psychology, 18, 225–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Young, A. W., McWeeny, K. H., Hay, D. C., & Ellis, A. W. (1986). Matching familiar and unfamiliar faces on identity and expression. Psychological Research, 48, 63–68.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abhilasha A. Kumar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sudheendra Hangal
    • 2
  • Allyson C. Rosen
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Psychological & Brain SciencesWashington UniversitySt LouisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceAshoka UniversitySonipatIndia
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

Personalised recommendations