When a person experiences an event that has multiple similar instances (i.e., a repeated event), memories for details that change across instances can be challenging to recall (e.g., Fivush, 1984). We expected that third parties would perceive memory reports of instances of repeated events as less credible than unique (i.e., single) events. Undergraduates participated in a single or repeated event, during which critical details were presented. Participants were asked to recall the session 2-days later, and memory reports were video recorded. New participants then viewed one video and evaluated the credibility of the speaker’s memory report. Despite the reports being equally accurate, repeated-event reports were seen as less credible than single-event reports. Although credibility research in the context of repeated events has focused exclusively on child populations, a range of applications exists for adults (e.g., criminal and industrial eyewitnesses, asylum-seekers); we discussed our findings in these areas.
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Thesis advisor: Connolly, Deborah
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