The Role of Typical and Atypical Events in Story Memory



To understand how viewers or readers process and remember media narratives such as entertainment, news, and information is critical to our understanding of the mental processing of television and other media. Media stories contain both typical and atypical events and people, but little is known about how readers or viewers process and remember these two types of information. Participants in 2 experiments remembered atypical story items much better even a week later. However, the conservative way they treated atypical memories could give the illusion that typical items are better remembered than they really are. The results have implications for both mass media theory and theories of memory.