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Title: Surprise and schema strength
Authors: Schützwohl, A
Issue Date: 1998
Publisher: American Psychological Association
Citation: Journal of Experimental Psychology Learning Memory and Cognition, 24(5): 1182-1199, Sep 1998
Abstract: Through 4 experiments, the author investigated the effects of stimuli discrepant with schemas of varying strength on 3 components of surprise: the interruption of ongoing activities (indexed by response time increase), the focusing of attention on the schema-discrepant event (indexed by memory performance), and the feeling of surprise (indexed by self-reports). Response times were consistently found to increase with schema strength. This effect was attributed to the increasing difficulty of schema revision. In contrast, memory for the schema-discrepant event was not affected by schema strength, supporting the hypothesis that schema-discrepant stimuli are stored in memory with a distinct tag. Finally, self-reports of surprise intensity varied with schema strength only if they were made immediately after the surprising event without any intervening questions, suggesting that self-reports of surprise are highly susceptible to memory distortions.
Description: The official published version can be accessed through the link below.
ISSN: 0278-7393
Appears in Collections:Psychology
Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers

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