The current study examined social contagion-or the spreading of memories from individual to individual-in two different social contexts: Competition and Cooperation. Participants were provided with words (Experiments 1A and 1B) or scenes (Experiment 2) to study. After study, participants were randomly divided: Half were given a competitive context, and the other half, a cooperative context. Then, in the paired recall phase, each participant took turns with a confederate partner in recalling the previously studied items. On a subsequent test, participants had to report the items that were recalled on the pair recall phase, in addition to who had recalled that item. The results showed that competitors, as compared with cooperators, were more likely to focus on other people's memories, and surprisingly, the same difference obtained for false memories. Essentially, people who are primed with a competitive context were more easily 'infected' by memories, true or false.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)