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Memory bias in the recall of pre-exam anxiety: the influence of self-enhancement.

Dewhurst, Stephen A. and Marlborough, Michelle A. (2003) Memory bias in the recall of pre-exam anxiety: the influence of self-enhancement. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 17 (6). pp. 695-702. ISSN 0888-4080

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Abstract

Previous research has shown that students asked to recall the anxiety levels they reported prior to an exam exaggerate how anxious they had been. The present study investigated the effect of current emotions on this memory bias by comparing the recall of pre-exam anxiety in students who either achieved or failed to achieve their target grades. Participants rated their anxiety levels 48 hours prior to the exam and were asked to recall these levels after receiving their exam results. The exaggerated recall of pre-exam anxiety was observed only in students who surpassed their target grade. Students who failed to achieve their target grade significantly underestimated their pre-exam anxiety levels. The findings are attributed to self-enhancement motives that bias the recall of pre-exam anxiety in the direction that maximizes self-esteem.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Applied Cognitive Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Psychology
ID Code: 18772
Deposited By: ep_ss_importer
Deposited On: 03 Nov 2008 15:56
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 15:21
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/18772

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