The effect of responsibility attitude and stimulus valence on recognition and confidence in recognition

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Perceived responsibility has significant cognitive consequences for both clinical and nonclinical groups (Moritz, Wahl, Zurowski, Jelinek, Hand and Fricke, 2007). Under conditions of perceived responsibility, individuals show a positive memory (Radomsky, Rachman and Hammond 2000), but also a decline in metamemory for salient stimuli (Moritz, Wahl, Zurowski, Jelinek, Hand, and Fricke, 2007). Stimulus salience enhances retrieval by means of directive attention (Nothdurft, 2002) but may actually impede metamemory, particularly among anxious populations. It has been suggested that for OCD patients and nonclinical participants with OCD symptoms, progressive exposure to emotionally salient stimuli worsens confidence in memory, while having no effect in memory accuracy (Tolin, Abramowitz, Brigidi, Amir, Street, & Foa, 2001). Perceived responsibility is associated with a positive memory bias for negative stimuli (Radomsky, Gilchrist & Dussault, 2004, and Dek, van den Hout, Giele & Engelhard, 2009) with reduced memory confidence (Boschen & Vuksanovic, 2007). The current study investigated the possible association in a healthy population, between responsibility, measured by the Responsibility Attitude Scale (RAS) (Salkovskis, Wroe, Gledhill, Morrison, Forrester, Richards, Reynolds &Thorpe, 2000), recognition and confidence in recognition of words that varied in valence. 85 healthy participants were administered the RAS prior to taking part in a word recognition task. Results indicated that responsibility attitude did not predict memory accuracy or memory confidence for negatively, positively or neutrally valenced words. Furthermore, word valence had no effect on memory confidence but did have a significant effect on memory accuracy. Implications for future research point towards the utilisation of responsibility-relevant stimuli.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventBPS Cognitive Psychology Section Annual Conference 2014 - Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Sep 20145 Sep 2014 (Conference website)


ConferenceBPS Cognitive Psychology Section Annual Conference 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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