Remembering the impressions of others as our own: how post-experience decisions can distort autobiographical memory



The aim of this research was to investigate conditions under which memory for previous impressions and evaluations can be distorted by post-experience information. Two experiments tested a two-step model for autobiographical memory distortion. In the first step, the impressions overheard from another person after evaluating an experience were incorporated into experience related decisions. In the second step, the distorted decisions were used in the retrieval of the initial evaluation. The results of Experiment 1 results reveal that post-experience comments heard before, but not after, the decisions result in memory distortion. The results of Experiment 2 results replicate the findings of Experiment 1 and eliminate possible alternative explanations. The results are discussed in the context of the Source Monitoring Framework. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.