Did I forget to remember or did I forget to remember remembering? Accuracy and generalization of meta-memory
AbstractA substantial proportion of individuals, who have experienced childhood sexual abuse actually claim having had periods in which they did not recall their abuse (Fivush & Edwards, 2004). By now we know that in some cases it is not the event per se which has been forgotten, but rather people forgot having thought about the event in question at a given time (Schooler, 2001). This forgetting of one’s previous recall (meta-awareness) of an event has been termed forget-it-all-along effect and is not specifically related to traumatic experiences, but also common to our everyday experiences (Parks, 1999). Meta-awareness is one’s consciousness of the contents of subjective experience, which is different from the content of an experience. The aim of this article is to give insight into the role of meta-awareness in locating events backwards in time, i.e., retrospective memory. For this purpose, inaccuracies in different memory judgments will be compared, specifically the ability to judge one’s own prior recall of personal events and the ability to judge the time of occurrence of events reported in the public news. The implications of the findings for the concept of recovered memories will be discussed. -
Abiad, S., & Raymaekers, L. (2011). [Did I forget to remember or did I forget to remember remembering? Accuracy and generalization of meta-memory]. Unpublished raw data.
Abenavoli, R., & Henkel, L. A. (2009). Remembering when we last remembered our childhood experiences: Effects of age and context on retrospective meta-memory judgments. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 23, 717-732.
Bottoms, B. L., Najdowski, C. J., Epstein, M. A., & Badanek, M. J. (2012). Trauma severity and defensive emotion-regulation reactions as predictors of forgetting childhood trauma. Journal of Trauma & Disscociation, 13, 291-310.
Clancy, S. A., Schacter, D. L., McNally, R. J., & Pitman, R. K. (2000). False recognition of women reporting recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse. Psychological Science, 11, 26-31.
Epstein, M. A., & Bottoms, B. L. (2002). Explaining the forgetting and recovery of abuse and trauma memories: Possible mechanisms. Child Maltreatment, 7, 210-226.
Fivush, R., & Edwards, V. J. (2004). Remembering and forgetting childhood sexual abuse. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 2, 1-19.
Geraerts, E., Lindsey, D. S., Merckelbach, H., Jelilic, M., Raymaekers, L., & Arnold, M. M. (2008). Cognitive mechanisms underlying recovered memory experiences of childhood sexual abuse. Memory, 16, 92-98.
Geraerts, E., McNally, R. J., Jelilic, M., Merckelbach, H., & Raymaekers, L. (2006). The reality of recovered memories: Corroborating continuous and discontinuous memories of childhood sexual abuse. Psychological Science, 18, 564-568.
Joslyn, S., Loftus, E., McNoughton, A., & Powers, J. (2001). Memory for memory. Memory & Cognition, 29, 789-797.
Kemp, S. (1994). Bias in dating news and historical events. Acta Psychologica, 86, 69-87.
Kemp, S. (1999). An associative theory of estimating past dates and past prices. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 6, 41-56.
Larsen, S. F., & Thompson, C. P. (1995). Reconstructive memory in the dating of personal and public news events. Memory & Cognition, 23, 780-790.
Mayes, A. R., Downes, J. J., McDonald, C., Poole, V., Rooke, S., & Sagar, H. J. (1994). Two tests for assessing remote public knowledge: A tool for assessing retrograde amnesia. Memory, 2, 183-210.
Merckelbach, H., Smeets, T., Geraerts, E., Jelilic, M., Bouwen, A., & Smeets, E. (2006). I haven't thought about this for years! Dating recent recalls of vivid memories. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 20, 33-42.
Parks, T. E. (1999). On one aspect of the evidence of recovered memories. American Journal of Psychology, 112, 365-370.
Raymaekers, L., Peters, M. J. V., Otgaar, H., & Smeets, T. (2010). Het classificatieprobleem bij het onderzoek naar hervonden herinneringen. GZ-Psychologie, 8, 20-27.
Schooler, J. W. (2001). Discovering memories of abuse in the light of meta-awareness. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 4, 105-136.
Wright, D. B., Gaskell, G. D., & O'Muircheartaigh, C. A. (1997). Temporal estimation of major news event: Re-examining the accessibility principle. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 11, 35-46.