Jacoby et al., 1989 - General 1989,Vol.118,NO.2 115-125...

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Journal of Experimental Psychology: General Copyright 1989 by the American Psychological Association, Inc. 1989, Vol. 118, NO. 2, 115-125 0096-3445/89/$00.75 Becoming Famous Without Being Recognized: Unconscious Influences of Memory Produced by Dividing Attention Larry L. Jacoby and Vera Woloshyn McMaster University Hamilton, Ontario, Canada Colleen Kelley Williams College The familiarity of names produced by their prior presentation can be misinterpreted as fame. We used this false fame effect to separately study the effects of divided attention on familiarity versus conscious recollection. In a first experiment, famous and nonfamous names were presented to be read under conditions of full vs. divided attention. Divided attention greatly reduced later recognition memory performance but had no effect on gains in familiarity as measured by fame judgments. In later experiments, we placed recognition memory and familiarity in opposition by presenting only nonfamous names to be read in the first phase. Recognizing a name as earlier read on the later fame test allowed Ss to be certain that it was nonfamous. Divided attention at study or during the fame test reduced list recognition performance but had no effect on familiarity. We conclude that conscious recollection is an attention-demanding act that is separate from assessing familiarity. Folk wisdom suggests that we benefit from experience by consciously remembering those experiences and applying the knowledge gained from them to the current situation. In contrast, research shows that many effects of prior experience on later performance can occur independently of the ability to consciously recollect the experience (see Richardson-Kla- vehn & Bjork, 1988, for a review). In this article, we provide further evidence that the past can be used to influence present performance without the intervention of conscious recollec- tion. We show that divided attention, in comparison with full attention, can radically reduce a person's ability to recognize an item as previously presented while leaving intact the effects of that prior presentation on judgment. Furthermore, this potential for unconscious influence of the past leads to a role for conscious recollection that is directly counter to that advanced by folk wisdom. Rather than being a prerequisite for producing effects of the past, conscious recollection can be a means of escaping misleading effects of the past. The task that we used required subjects to judge whether a name was famous. In the first phase of each experiment, people read a list of names. Then those old names were mixed with new famous and new nonfamous names in a test of fame judgments. On the basis of earlier research (Jacoby, Kelley, Brown, & Jasechko, 1989; Neely & Payne, 1983), we expected This research was supported by a grant to Larry L. Jacoby from the Canadian National Science and Engineering Research Council.
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This note was uploaded on 12/21/2009 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 162 taught by Professor Burke during the Spring '09 term at Pomona College.

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Jacoby et al., 1989 - General 1989,Vol.118,NO.2 115-125...

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