Should I believe this? Reality monitoring of accounts of self-experienced and invented recent and distant autobiographical events
Article first published online: 19 JUN 2006
Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Applied Cognitive Psychology
Volume 20, Issue 6, pages 837–854, September 2006
How to Cite
Sporer, S. L. and Sharman, S. J. (2006), Should I believe this? Reality monitoring of accounts of self-experienced and invented recent and distant autobiographical events. Appl. Cognit. Psychol., 20: 837–854. doi: 10.1002/acp.1234
- Issue published online: 25 AUG 2006
- Article first published online: 19 JUN 2006
- University Research Committee of the University of Aberdeen
- Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. Grant Number: Sp 262/3-1
- UNSW Vice Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellowship
To examine personal and interpersonal reality monitoring, 240 participants wrote accounts of invented or self-experienced autobiographical events. Half the participants wrote about a distant event that happened before the age of 15 and half wrote about a recent event that happened after the age of 15. Using a yoked design, participants rated the qualitative details of their own accounts and the details of other participants' accounts. Consistent with previous research, we found that self-experienced accounts contained more qualitative details than invented accounts, and that accounts of recent events contained more qualitative details than accounts of distant events. Participants rated their own accounts as more qualitatively detailed than other participants' accounts, which suggests that they did not base their self-ratings solely on the written details. We discuss the practical and theoretical importance of our findings. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.