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J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn. 1997 Sep;23(5):1160-75.

Collective memory: collaborative and individual processes in remembering.

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Department of Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz 95064, USA.


Two experiments compared collaborative and individual recall. In Experiment 1, participants encoded pictures and words with a deep or shallow processing task, then recalled them twice either individually or collaboratively. Collaborative groups recalled more than individuals, but less than nominal groups (pooled individuals), thus exhibiting collaborative inhibition. However, group recall appeared to be more stable over time than individual recall. Groups and individuals both showed a picture-superiority effect, a level-of-processing effect, and hypermnesia. In Experiment 2, participants recalled the story "War of the Ghosts" (from F. C. Bartlett, 1932), and again collaborative groups recalled more than individuals, but less than nominal groups. Both the individual and collaborative recalls were highly organized. There was evidence that the collaborative groups tended to rely on the best individual to a greater extent in story than in list recall. Possible social and cognitive mechanisms are considered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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