Memory accessibility and medical decision-making for significant others: The role of socially shared retrieval-induced forgetting

Dora Coman, Alin Coman, William Hirst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Medical decisions will often entail a broad search for relevant information. No sources alone may offer a complete picture, and many may be selective in their presentation. This selectivity may induce forgetting for previously learned material, thereby adversely affecting medical decision-making. In the study phase of two experiments, participants learned information about a fictitious disease and advantages and disadvantages of four treatment options. In the subsequent practice phase, they read a pamphlet selectively presenting either relevant (Experiment 1) or irrelevant (Experiment 2) advantages or disadvantages. A final cued recall followed and, in Experiment 2, a decision as to the best treatment for a patient. Not only did reading the pamphlet induce forgetting for related and unmentioned information, the induced forgetting adversely affected decisionmaking. The research provides a cautionary note about the risks of searching through selectively presented information when making a medical decision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFrontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Issue numberJUN
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Keywords

  • Medical information
  • Memory accessibility
  • Retrieval induced forgetting

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