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Open Access research that challenges the mind...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including those from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health - but also papers by researchers based within the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

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One night at sea: effects of verbal priming on perceptions and recollections of wartime events

Durkin, K. and Kirsner, Kim and Dunn, John C. (2008) One night at sea: effects of verbal priming on perceptions and recollections of wartime events. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 22 (7). pp. 938-952.

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Abstract

This study investigates perceptions of and memory for a filmed ambiguous event, intended to simulate features of a contentious naval incident that occurred during World War II. Participants viewed a short film that contained elements attributable to a storm or a battle at sea. In different conditions, test instructions mentioned speculation about the possibility of a storm or a battle, or were neutral. Participants exposed to the battle prime were significantly more likely to describe a battle taking place than were participants exposed to either,I storm or neutral prime. Evidence of the influence of expectations was also obtained via a recognition measure and confidence ratings. Memory biases were unchanged 7 weeks post the initial viewing. It is concluded that observers of ambiguous events during times of war are vulnerable to errors based oil schematic expectations and that these patterns of errors can be replicated in laboratory simulations.