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Memory impairment is not sufficient for choice blindness to occur

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Choice blindness refers to the phenomenon that people can be easily misled about the choices they made in the recent past. The aim of this study was to explore the cognitive mechanisms underlying choice blindness. Specifically, we tested whether memory impairment may account for choice blindness. A total of N = 88 participants provided sympathy ratings on 10-point scales for 20 female faces. Subsequently, participants motivated some of their ratings. However, on three trials, they were presented with sympathy ratings that deviated from their original ratings by three full scale points. On nearly 41% of the trials, participants failed to detect (i.e., were blind) the manipulation. After a short interval, participants were informed that some trials had been manipulated and were asked to recall their original ratings. Participants adopted the manipulated outcome in only 3% of the trials. Furthermore, the extent to which the original ratings were accurately remembered was not higher for detected as compared with non-detected trials. From a theoretical point of view our findings indicate that memory impairment does not fully account for blindness phenomena.

    Research areas

  • CONFIDENCE, DECISIONS, HINDSIGHT BIAS, KNOWLEDGE, MISINFORMATION, MODEL, SHAPE, choice blindness, confidence, decision making, forgetting, memory impairment
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Original languageEnglish
Article number449
Number of pages8
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2014