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The influence of confidence on memory and metamemory conformity

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

In everyday life, people often complement what they remember with information from external sources, such as media, books, or other people. In the latter case, an optimal approach is to rely on memories of people whom we trust to be accurate, but ignore information from those whose accuracy we doubt. It is perhaps easy to establish memory reliability for people we know well (e.g., family members, work colleagues), as we know how accurate these people’s memory is in the long run, but sometimes we are confronted with potentially important memory-based information from someone we do not know well. In such a situation, it might be necessary to establish the reliability of one’s memory on the basis of the cues at hand, which might – or might not – be diagnostic of accuracy. One such a cue is confidence the other person expresses in their memories, with the usual finding being that people tend to follow other person’s memory cues more often when that person is highly confident those cues are accurate than when confidence is moderate or low. The aim of this project will be to build on recent work in the area (Zawadzka, Krogulska, Button, Higham, & Hanczakowski, 2016) in order to investigate in a systematic manner those aspects of confidence exhibited by an unknown person supplying external memory information (i.e., external source) that determine how likely another person is to use these cues (i.e., conform) in their own subsequent memory report. By testing predictions derived from memory, social, judgement and decision making, and eyewitness studies, the aim of the project will be to show the boundary conditions for confidence-dependent conformity. Zawadzka, K., Krogulska, A., Button, R., Higham, P. A., & Hanczakowski, M. (2016). Memory, metamemory, and social cues: Between conformity and resistance. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 45, 181-199.

Funding Notes

Self funded or sponsored students only. No University funding available.

NB The University has some tuition fee scholarship - application deadline is 23 January 2019 at 5pm

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Sheffield in Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 34.45

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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