Ths Self-Controlled Eyewitness: Memory Changes Through Emotional Suppression

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Michael Ryan (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Lisa Emery

Abstract: The current study aimed to analyze differences in eyewitness memory of crime bystanders who suppress emotions versus express emotions. Twenty subjects were enrolled in a study presented as relating emotional regulation to risk-­-taking, and they played a card game against a confederate where the winner would be given more compensation. During each trial, a criminal confederate stole the quarters that the player confederate was using for the card game. Participants filled out several questionnaires related to their feelings and anxiety after the crime occurred. The participants then answered questions about the perpetrator and crime and were asked to identify the criminal in a photo lineup while ranking their confidence in all of their answers. Participants in the suppression group were significantly less accurate for their answers to the questions, but there was no significant difference between the two groups on the photo lineup. The suppression and expression group also demonstrated no significant differences in levels of confidence, regardless of the memory task. Suppression participants did not experience significantly more anxiety, but there was a strong overall negative correlation between anxiety and accuracy on the questions. The findings are discussed in terms of the arousal implications of suppression as well as future research based off of the framework provided by this study.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Ryan, M (2016) "Ths Self-Controlled Eyewitness: Memory Changes Through Emotional Suppression" Unpublished Honor's Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
Language: English
Date: 2016

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