Date of Award

Summer 8-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department/Program

Forensic Psychology

Language

English

First Advisor

Charles Stone

Second Reader

Mark Fondacaro

Third Advisor

Natalie Gordon

Abstract

Prior research has shown that discussions with a co-witness can lead to the spread of false information, better known as the memory conformity effect. Specifically the effects of independence and interdependence on memory conformity have been examined. People who perceived their selves as a distinctive and unique were related to less memory conformity whereas those who identified themselves within their social relationships were not related to memory conformity. One of the limitations of the previous study is that they only focused on Western populations even though there is a cultural difference between Western European culture and Eastern Asian culture in relation to self-construal. Therefore, the present study seeked to figure out the impacts of self-construal on memory conformity more clearly by using both Western and Eastern participants. Participants were recruited from the United States and South Korea. In both samples, participants were run in dyads or individually. All participants watched a video clip of a person committing a crime. However, each member of the dyad watched a different version of this same crime. Half of the participants in each sample either discussed the video (joint recall condition) or did not (individual recall condition) before a final recall. Results revealed an overall conformity effect, but no differences across the two cultures. Nevertheless, we found a correlation of false memory confidence and self-construal, as well as a cultural difference in a verdict of guilt. The implications of the results are discussed.

 
 

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