Asymmetric memory recall of positive and negative events in social interactions
Previous studies have suggested that negative emotion can enhance memory accuracy. However, they were not conducted in the context of social interactions using the methodology of experimental economics. Based on the present study, we find that in such a context, individuals’ memory recall accuracy depends on the kindness of acts and who performed them, and negative emotion may lower memory accuracy. A victim of an unkind act is more likely to forget than someone who benefited from a kind act. This result supports the hypothesis that individuals may strategically manipulate their memory by forgetting an unpleasant experience. We also find that individuals who committed an unkind act tend to perceive it as less unkind as time moves on. They also tend to believe that a higher percentage of players have also committed the unkind act. Overall, the results support the hypothesis that individuals strategically manipulate their memory and beliefs to maintain self-esteem or feel less guilty. Copyright Economic Science Association 2013
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Volume (Year): 16 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
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