28 January 2011

Poor memory for intentions

Research by Kaasa, Morris and Loftus shows that memory for past intentions is poor, but that asking people to recall intentions, and then asking them again at a later date introduces a (potentially bogus) consistency across the two recall sessions. (Worth noting that the recall task was linked to a relatively trivial decision (people's reasons for buying a particular piece of music) begging the question whether the results would transfer to more significant decisions, such as reasons for choosing a particular insurance policy etc.) The results are interpreted in the context of police proceedings, where consistency of recall is regarded as an indicator of accuracy, but the research should also give qualitative researchers pause for thought about the accuracy of the reflections they elicit.

[via BPS Research Digest]

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