I haven't thought about this for years! Dating recent recalls of vivid memories

H.L.G.J. Merckelbach*, T. Smeets, E.G. Geraerts, M. Jelicic, A. Bouwen, E. Smeets

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Web of Science)


In three studies, we examined memories for previous recall. In Studies I and 2, undergraduates were asked whether they had vivid memories about various childhood events. After a one-hour (Study 1) or 2-week (Study 2) interval, they completed a second questionnaire containing new, but also previously presented childhood items. Participants estimated how recently they had thought about old and new items. A non-trivial proportion of recent recalls of vivid childhood memories was dated incorrectly. In Study 3, women with recovered and continuous memories of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) completed the childhood events questionnaires used in studies 1 and 2. After a one-hour interval, they indicated how recently they had thought about new, but also previously presented childhood items. Compared to women with continuous CSA memories, women with recovered memories underestimated their prior remembering.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-42
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006

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