Memory in chronic alcoholics: Effects of inconsistent versus consistent information

  • Ober B
  • Stillman R
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Abstract

Alcoholics and controls were compared on their resistance to misleading information given after a witnessed event. The eyewitness testimony paradigm of Loftus, Miller, and Burns ("Semantic Integration of Verbal Information in a Visual Memory" Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory, Vol. 4, pp. 19-31, 1978) was used, which is a naturalistic variation of a retroactive interference paradigm. Alcoholics did not show greater suggestibility than the controls, being no more "fooled" by the misleading, after-the-fact information. In contrast, alcoholics did show significant impairment in discriminating correct from among incorrect verbal statements about the accident. Thus, certain aspects of memory functioning may be preserved even while others are compromised as a result of chronic alcohol abuse. © 1988.

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Authors

  • Beth A. Ober

  • Richard C. Stillman

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