Keeley, Joseph J S (2013) Visual and Auditory Recognition Memory: An Examination of the Impact of Emotional Valence and Arousal Words on Aging and Remembering. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Visual recognition memory research has shown conflicting findings when using the standard remember/know procedure (Gardiner, 1988; Tulving, 1985) to examine the impact of emotional valence and arousal items on adult aging and remembering. It has been suggested that the reason for the conflicting findings within visual recognition memory research is that the standard remember/know procedure inaccurately measures the remember and know responses that represent the dual-process theory of recognition memory (Jacoby et al., 1997). However, research from other perspectives such as the socioemotional selectivity theory (Carstensen et al., 2003) and the theory of response bias (e.g. Thapar & Rouder, 2009) has also produced conflicting findings when investigating the impact of visual emotions on adult aging and remembering, indicating that the conflicting findings within visual recognition memory research may not be due to the inaccuracy of the standard remember/know procedure. In addition, there is no evidence to suggest whether these conflicting findings extent to the study of auditory recognition memory also. Therefore, the present study uses the standard remember/know procedure, a modified remember/know procedure (Sheridan & Reingold, 2011), the response bias ‘C’ measure (Ingham, 1970), and visual and auditory self-relevance questionnaires created for the present study based on the notion of the socioemotional selectivity theory were used to investigate whether there is a significant differences between younger, middle aged and older adults visual and auditory recognition memory performance for positive, negative and neutral valence (neutral arousal) words. Based on the results of the remember/know, response bias and self-relevance data, the visual and auditory standard and modified remember/know procedures produced conflicting findings between the three adult age groups and the response bias measure revealed that response bias did not significantly affect remember and know responses. Interestingly, there was no significant difference between visual and auditory recognition memory performance and there were significant self-relevance scores between the three adult age groups. Essentially, researchers need to urgently reconsider the type of remember/know procedure that they use to in future studies to research the impact of emotions on adult aging and remembering.

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