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Cognitive Approach

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Tags and Description

Asparagus, A Love Story (2008)

76 Terms

1

Cognitive Approach

studies memory, a key concept in cognitive psychology

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Psychology

studies false memories, particularly implanted information and gaps filled during the reconstruction of memory

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Background

It is possible to implant a false memory and have someone believe something that didn't happen

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Loftus and Pickrell (1995)

(Background)

planted memories of being lost in the mall as a child

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Braun, et. al (2002)

(Background)

people who met Bugs Bunny at Disneyland

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Bernstein, et. al

(Background)

there are consequences for people whose memories are altered; false memories created dislike for pickles and eggs

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Aim

to test whether a positive false memory for the love of a specific food as a child can be successfully implanted in participants

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Hypothesis

False feedback about liking of a food causes a false memory and a change in participants' eating behavior

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Independent Variable

love group and the control group

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Dependent Variable

scores on questionnaires

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Method

  • laboratory experiment

  • independent measures (can't take out an implanted memory)

  • data collected through questionnaires

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Apparatus #1

Session 1 Food History Inventory (FHI) 24 items; 8-point rating, 8 being definitely yes and 1 being definitely no; question 16 was "loved asparagus the first time you tried it"

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Apparatus #2

Session 1 Restaurant Questionnaire (RQ) 8-point scale; critical item was sautéed asparagus

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Apparatus #3

Session 2 Food Preference Questionnaire (FPQ) 62 items with 8-point scale; answers range from 1 (definitely don't like to eat it) to 8 (definitely like to eat it)

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Apparatus #4

Session 2 Memory Belief Questionnaire (MBQ) each question had 3 different answers: "have a specific memory," "belief that it happened," and "positive that it never happened"

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Apparatus #5

Session 2 Food Cost Questionnaire (FCQ) how much participants are willing to pay for 21 different food items from the grocery store; key item - asparagus; answers range from "never buying it" to "willing to pay between $1.90 and $5.70 for it)

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Participants

128 undergraduates obtained through volunteer sample from University of California Irvine in exchange for credit; 77% female with a mean age of 20.8; randomly allocated 63 to love group and 65 to control group

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Control #1

All participants will receive the same instructions in the same exact order

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Control #2

All participants will complete the same questionnaires in the same order

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Control #3

All participants will complete (3 in experiment 1, 2 in experiment 2) filler questionnaires on personality, eating habits, and social desirability

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Control #4

All questionnaires will be scored the same way

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Control #5

Random assignment will be used to give everyone an equal chance of being in the love group

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Control #6

The laboratory will be set up the same way for all participants

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Session 1: Step 1

(Procedure)

As soon as the participant enters the laboratory, they will be lied to and told the study will be on food preference and personality, with no mention of the false memory implantation

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Session 1: Step 2

(Procedure)

All participants complete the FHI and RQ

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Session 1: Step 3

(Procedure)

All participants complete the 3 filler questionnaires

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Session 2: Step 1

(Procedure)

All participants will return to the laboratory one week later, and both groups will get feedback on a computer-generated profile of food preferences

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Session 2: Step 2

(Procedure)

The love group will be given the false feedback that the computer profile showed they loved cooked asparagus the first time they tried it

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Session 2: Step 3

(Procedure)

All participants will complete the FHI and RQ again

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Session 2: Step 4

(Procedure)

All participants will complete the FPQ and FCQ

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Session 2: Step 5

(Procedure)

All participants will complete the MBQ

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Session 2: Step 6

(Procedure)

Participants will be debriefed and informed of the study's true nature

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Data

quantitative - questionnaire ratings

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Believer Criteria

  1. memory or belief on MBQ

  2. rating on FHI must be higher in Session 2 than in Session 1

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Believer Group Make-up

22 believers total, 20 females and 2 males 10 believers had memory, 12 had belief

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Finding #1

There were 31 participants (17 love, 14 control) whose data was excluded because they already liked asparagus

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Finding #2

On the FHI, the love group had a mean increase of 2.6 points and the control group only 0.2 points

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Finding #3

Of the love group, 22% said they had memory of liking asparagus, 35% said belief, and 44% said no memory on the MBQ

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Finding #4

On the FHI, believers had a mean increase of 4.5 points and non-believers 0.9 points

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Finding #5

On the RQ, believers reported a higher desire to order asparagus. On the FPQ, they reported liking asparagus. On the FCQ, they were willing to pay more for asaparagus

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Conclusion #1

We can positively implant false memories about food and increase belief of liking the food

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Conclusion #2

Love group believers had greater intentions to eat asparagus in the future

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Conclusion #3

Love group believers are willing to pay more for asparagus

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Conclusion #4

Love group believers have a greater preference for asparagus

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Conclusion #5

Of the love group, 48% said they loved asparagus the first time they tried it as a child

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46

Aim

To investigate the consequences of implanting a positive false memory and its effects on choosing/liking asparagus

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Hypothesis

Participants who fall for manipulation will show increased intentions to eat asparagus

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Apparatus

FHI, RQ, FPQ, FCQ, MBQ, and the slideshow images of food

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Participants

103 undergraduates obtained from the University of Washington through volunteer sample in exchange for college credit; 62% female and mean age of 19.9; randomly allocated 58 to love group and 45 to control group

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Session 1: Step 1

As soon as the participant enters the laboratory, they will be lied to and told the study will be on food preference and personality, with no mention of false memory implantation. They will also be told that their reports would be entered into a computer system

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Session 1: Step 2

All participants will complete the FHI, RQ, FPQ, and 2 fillers

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Session 2: Step 1

All participants will return to the laboratory one week later, and the love group will be given false feedback that they had a preference for asparagus

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Session 2: Step 2

Participants will complete the RQ, FPQ, and FHI for a second time

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Session 2: Step 3

Participants will review 20 slides of food, each displayed for 30 seconds, and rate each on 4 criteria:

  • how appetizing the food was

  • how disgusting the food was

  • the skill level of the photographer

  • artistic quality of photo

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Session 2: Step 4

Love group was asked to complete elaboration exercise in which they shared the most important childhood food-related memory that the profile did not report if they struggled on the MBQ

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Data

quantitative - questionnaire ratings

qualitative - question responses

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Finding #1

On the FHI, the love group had a mean increase of 2.5 points and the control group 1.07 points

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Finding #2

On the MBQ, 28% of participants said they had a memory of liking asparagus, 28% said belief, and 44% had no memory

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Finding #3

On the FHI, believers had a mean increase of 6.48 and non-believers 1.42

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Finding #4

In the slideshow, believers, non-believers and the control group rated 5.1, 2.63, and 4.0, respectively, on appetizingness

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Finding #5

In the slideshow, believers, non-believers, and the control group rated 1.81, 3.84, and 3.24, respectively, on disgustingness

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Conclusion #1

It is possible to implant false memories of a positive childhood experience for liking/loving of a food

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Conclusion #2

False beliefs are associated with positive changes in attitude and behavioral consequences

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64

Ethics

Informed consent was given but deception was used in the omission of false feedback being used to implant a false memory and by commission in the lie that the study was on food preference and personality. Confidentiality was maintained and protection from harm was upheld. Debriefing occurred at the end of the procedures and participants were informed of the study's true nature

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Strength #1

High standardization of the procedure allows for easy replication of the experiment

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Strength #2

The use of a laboratory experiment gives a high level of controls

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Strength #3

Obtaining qualitative and quantitative data allows for both statistical comparison and explanation behind the results

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Strength #4

The use of a large sample of participants increases accuracy in the results

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Strength #5

The questions were close-ended and had a wide range of ratings, making answers more accurate to each individual

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70

Weakness #1

The task of filling out questionnaires and rating pictures of food lacks mundane realism

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71

Weakness #2

The use of a laboratory experiment lowers ecological validity

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Weakness #3

The same age range and skewed gender of the participants makes generalization difficult

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73

Weakness #4

The use of independent measures may have brought about participant variables such as memory and personal food preferences

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74

Weakness #5

The use of so many questionnaires may have created fatigue in participants

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75

Weakness #6

It is unknown how long the effects of the false memory implantation will last (can be fixed by using a longitudinal study with 6 and 12 month follow-ups)

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Application

(Issues & Debates)

to improving the eating habits of vegetable-disliking children and picky-eater adults

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