Effects of instructions and cue subjectiveness on specificity of autobiographical memory recall
The first aim of this study was to determine the power of instructions on the specificity of autobiographical memory as obtained with the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT; Williams & Broadbent, 1986) and the efficacy of cue word criteria selection based on subjective parameters obtained with a standardized lexical program. Results showed a high power of specific instructions in its written version in contrast to non-directed memory recall to the same list of words three weeks later in a counterbalanced repeated measures within-subjects design. This effect was stronger when subjects previously were faced to the non-specific recovery task. Matched word lists using the “Buscapalabras” program (Davis & Perea, 2005) showed a very similar behaviour. These results point out that the same stimuli can be used repeatedly to obtain voluntary and involuntary retrieval with changes at instructional level. Additionally, standardized lexical programs can be employed to adapt cue-words of memory recall systems controlling for subjective differences related to language parameters (frequency, imageability and familiarity).
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