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Magical thinking and memory: Distinctiveness effect for TV commercials with magical content

Subbotsky, Eugene and Matthews, Jayne (2011) Magical thinking and memory: Distinctiveness effect for TV commercials with magical content. Psychological Reports, 109 (2). pp. 369-379.

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine whether memorizing adver- tised products of television advertisements with magical effects (i.e., talking ani- mals, inanimate objects which turn into humans, objects that appear from thin air or instantly turn into other objects) is easier than memorizing products of advertise- ments without such effects, by testing immediate and delayed retention. Adoles- cents and adults viewed two films containing television advertisements and were asked to recall and recognize the films’ characters, events, and advertised products. Film 1 included magical effects, but Film 2 did not. On a free-recall test, no dif- ferences in the number of items recalled were noted for the two films. On the im- mediate recognition test, adolescents, but not adults, showed significantly better recognition for the magical than the nonmagical film. When this test was repeated two weeks later, results were reversed: adults, but not adolescents, recognized a significantly larger number of items from the magical film than the nonmagical one. These results are interpreted to accentuate the role of magical thinking in cognitive processes.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Psychological Reports
Uncontrolled Keywords: Memory ; learning ; magical thinking ; commercial advertising
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Psychology
ID Code: 55179
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 19 Jun 2012 11:19
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 20:35
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/55179

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