Memory distortions resulting from a choice blindness task


Using a choice blindness paradigm, it is possible to switch decisions and outcomes in simple choice tasks. Such switches have been found to carry over into later choices, hypothesized to be mediated by beliefs about earlier decisions. Here we investigated participants’ memories for stimuli in a simple choice blindness task involving preferential choices between pairs of faces. We probed participants’ recognition and source memory following a round of choices where on some trials participants were presented with the opposite face to the one they actually selected. We found no effect on recognition memory accuracy. Source memory was impaired such that participants failing to detect the manipulation later misremembered recognized non-chosen faces as being previously chosen. The findings are discussed in the light of self-perception theory and previous work on how beliefs affect memories for choices.

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