Negation-induced forgetting: Is there a consequence to saying "no"?

Date
2017-01-01
Authors
Dianiska, Rachel
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Christian A. Meissner
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Altmetrics
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Psychology
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Psychology
Abstract

The negation effect refers to the cognitive detriment associated with correctly saying “no” (a negation), compared to correctly saying “yes” (an affirmation). A recent study has shown this detriment for item memory following the negation of a feature of an item (Mayo, Schul, & Rosenthal, 2014). This research examines the replicability of the negation effect using the original paradigm, as well as an adapted list-learning paradigm. Participants studied a set of objects and were then asked questions about features of objects that elicited “yes” or “no” responses. After a filler task, participants completed a final memory test during which they indicated whether a given object label was present or not present during the study phase.

Experiment 1 failed to conceptually replicate the negation-induced forgetting effect present in Mayo et al. (2014) using a list-learning paradigm. Experiment 2 was a pre-registered replication, and the negation effect was successfully replicated using the original stimulus and test materials from Mayo et al. (2014). Experiment 3 successfully replicated the negation effect using a list-learning paradigm, and found that the magnitude of the negation effect is influenced by the number of alternatives suggested by a feature statement.

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