[The Role of Distinctiveness of Stimulus in Memory Distrust as a Function of Repeated Checking]

Turk Psikiyatri Derg. 2017 Spring;28(1):33-42.
[Article in Turkish]


Objective: Recent literature proposes that repeated checking increases familiarity with the material, making recollections less vivid and detailed and promoting distrust in memory. The aim of the current study is to investigate the possible underlying mechanisms of low confidence in memory.

Method: The Padua Inventory-Washington State University Revision (PI-WSUR) was applied in a cohort of university students. Among the students who completed the PI-WSUR, 84 participants were selected and assigned to low Obsessive-Compulsive Symptomatology (OCS) group or high OCS group according to their PI-WSUR scores. An interactive computer animation was developed to test repeated checking behavior. Participants were randomly assigned to two experimental conditions: "Feedback condition" and "no feedback condition". The participants were all asked to carry out checking rituals on a virtual gas ring. However, half of the participants were given feedback indicating that checking activity was successful and complete and half of the participants were not.

Results: While there was no significant difference in terms of memory accuracy, memory detail and memory vividness between feedback condition and no feedback condition, there was a significant difference in terms of memory confidence between two experimental groups.

Discussion: Results are discussed in the light of a different explanation offering that the level of distinctiveness of recollections plays crucial role in memory distrust rather than the explanation of low confidence hypothesis.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Computer Graphics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory*
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / psychology*
  • Psychological Tests
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Students / psychology*
  • Treatment Outcome