Verbalization and Communication Effects on Mental Representations and Judgments

  • Ways and means of verbalization and communication are diverse and so are their effects on mental representations and judgments. Accordingly, the present thesis aimed at investigating effects of verbalization and communication on mental representations and judgments from various angles using a multimethod approach. Three different papers are presented: In the first paper, two experiments demonstrate the saying-is-believing effect using visual target material: Participants remembered a target persons everyday behavior (Experiment 1) and a forensically relevant event (Experiment 2) presented in videos in accordance with their audience-tuned message. Participants communication had a greater impact on their mental representations in the evaluation of a previously presented event when they experienced a socially shared reality with their audience. The research reported in the second paper investigated the impact of linguistic abstraction used in communicated descriptions on mental representations in the linguistic category model framework. In this experiment, participants applied the level of linguistic abstraction from their descriptions of behavioral events to abstraction levels in their mental representations of the events, only when they communicated with an in-group (vs. out-group) audience. For the first time, an "abstracting-is-believing" effect, depending on the audiences group membership, was revealed. In the third paper, two experiments examined retrieval ease effects on subsequent memory judgments in the applied field of eyewitness memory. It was demonstrated that centrality of recalled information can have a strong impact on individuals memory judgments: When recalled information was peripheral, participants mnemonic certainty declined. In summary, the present five experiments provide evidence that mental representations and mnemonic judgments of individuals can be profoundly shaped by their own verbalization and communication of events.

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Publishing Institution:IRC-Library, Information Resource Center der Jacobs University Bremen
Granting Institution:Jacobs Univ.
Author:Jens Hinrich Hellmann
Referee:Gerald Echterhoff, Ulrich K├╝hnen, Gernot Horstmann
Advisor:Gerald Echterhoff
Persistent Identifier (URN):urn:nbn:de:101:1-2013052812064
Document Type:PhD Thesis
Language:English
Date of Successful Oral Defense:2011/11/23
Date of First Publication:2011/12/01
PhD Degree:Psychology
School:SHSS School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Library of Congress Classification:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion / BF Psychology / BF180-198.7 Experimental psychology

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