Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Virtual experiences can cause embellished, false memories

20.12.2006
The next time you're in the market for a new camera, it might be best to read about the product's capabilities in a brochure rather than taking it for a test-run in an interactive, computer-generated virtual world.

New research finds that's because while Web sites offering object interactivity may improve vivid mental images compared to those with simple static pictures and text, those virtual experiences can lead to the creation of fabricated recollections that pose as memories – commonly referred to by psychologists as false positives.

The study by Ann Schlosser, an associate professor of marketing at the University of Washington Business School, showed that virtual experiences may help improve true memories but actually lead most people to think a product – in this case a digital camera – could do more than it was capable of.

"Although learning through interactive experiences with a product is vivid and can enhance knowledge, it can create an illusory sense of competence," Schlosser said.

Schlosser tested how well people could use a camera after studying its capabilities by exploring its features through an interactive simulation or as described in text and photos. She found that virtual experiences can be a double-edged sword: While they are generally better for helping people retain information, they often cause people to imagine features and functions that don't exist.

As part of her study, Schlosser had 173 undergraduate students learn how to use a digital camera through a virtual, object-interactive site or through a site featuring simple text and static pictures. At the object-interactive site, participants could interact with the product by rolling the cursor over it and clicking on its image to produce changes and gather additional information about it. The picture site contained the same information but in a storyboard format that did not allow any user interaction. The students then were given a survey and asked whether certain digital camera attributes were present or absent on the camera they viewed.

Schlosser found that a higher proportion of false positives were made by those who visited the object-interactive than the picture site, meaning that most people believed the camera had features that did not exist and could perform functions that it really couldn't do.

"False positives seem to occur because people determine whether a feature is present by retrieving and searching a mental image for it," she said. "Because the retrieved image is more vivid for those who visited the object-interactive site, they experienced greater confusion regarding which elements of this image are real or imagined, which led to more false positives."

When evaluating an advertisement designed to educate consumers about a new product, marketers often try to determine whether consumers remember information presented in the ad – a true memory – but neglect to assess whether they incorrectly remember information that was not presented – a false memory. Based on this study, Schlosser determined that communications tools that elicit vivid mental images can improve certain true memories while increasing false memories.

Companies that offer interactive demonstrations to consumers could ultimately suffer from this kind of marketing, she said, because consumers who discover that the product does not have attributes generated through false memories are likely to feel misled by the company and be less inclined to buy it.

Nancy Gardner | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.washington.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>