Date of Award

Spring 5-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Forensic Psychology



First Advisor

Charles B. Stone

Second Reader

Philip T. Yanos

Third Advisor

Martin Fagin


Social media has become a common tool for individuals to selectively offload personal memories to the internet. Such selectivity may reinforce the posted “memory” but induce forgetting for related “memories” (Anderson, Bjork, & Bjork, 1994). To explore this possibility, the present study adopted the retrieval-induced forgetting paradigm to the context of social media, Instagram. Participants were required to write a diary attached with pictures relevant to the events and then post pictures to the Instagram, followed by the final recall test. The results indicated that posting personal pictures online induced forgetting in related memories but not pictures, and posting pictures online enhanced the recall of online memories compared to offline memories. However, the results indicated that social endorsement (i.e. the number of likes and comments) had no mnemonic effects. The present study is the first to extend the retrieval-induced forgetting paradigm to the context of social media.



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