Videos were presented depicting events such as baking cookies or cleaning a fish tank. Periodically, the video paused and an instruction to Remember (R) or Forget (F) the preceding video segment was presented; the video then resumed. Participants later responded more accurately to cued-recall questions (E1) and to true/false statements (E2-5) regarding R segments than F segments. This difference was larger for specific information (the woman added 3 cups of flour) than for general information (the woman added flour). Participants were also slower to detect visual probes presented following F instructions compared to those presented following R instructions. These findings suggest that intentional forgetting is an effortful process that can be performed even on segments of otherwise continuous events and that the result is a relatively impoverished representation of the unwanted information in memory.
- Intentional forgetting
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)