Does Low Self-Esteem Impair Memory? One’s self-esteem can have an effect on everyday life: happiness, confidence, and behavioral interactions. Self-esteem is defined as a level of confidence that stems from a personal evaluation of one’s worth. For example, people with high self-esteem believe strongly In themselves while people with low self-esteem have doubts about their thoughts or ideas. How can this Impact a real situation Ilke eye-witness memory?
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Are those who distrust themselves more susceptible to believe misinformation given to them by another source? Previous research suggests that people who hold more negative views of themselves are more susceptible to other’s suggestions. For instance, if you are driving with a relative who has low self-esteem and they speed past a Yield sign, It Is more likely they would believe you if you said they ran a Stop sign. Lack of self- confidence makes people easily influenced by others opinions.
Researcher Jo Saunders (2011) at Swansea University In Swansea, UK conducted experiments to test if self-esteem played a role in the misinformation effect, which is how misleading Information can Interfere with the recollection of a memory. In his study, college students participated in four experiments that were done using different versions of the recognition test, where the participant is given a choice between identifying the correct memory and the false one. First. he students filled out the Rosenberg (1965) self-esteem questionnaire containing statements that forced them to identify how good they felt about themselves at that point In time. Based on their scores, the researcher divided them into two groups: students with high self-esteem and students with low self-esteem. Next, the participants watched a slideshow ot a group of men robbing with a knife robbing a woman’s purse In the park. After viewing the power point, the researcher administered a questionnaire with a total of ten salient and ten non-sallent Items.
In this case, the salient items were Instances from the slideshow that were well-remembered and the non-salient were instances that were poorly remembered; a pilot study was conducted prior to the experiment to determine the most memorable and leastmemorable instances that should be incorporated. In the first experiment, participants were either given a questionnaire ontaining misleading items or were not misled and given an anagram to do. Four questions were used as misleading items, two salient and two non-salient, in regards to what happened In the slide show.
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In the first experiment, the students took a standard recognition test where they could either pick the correct statement regarding the slide show, or the misleading one that was presented earlier during the questionnaire. For example, the students t Of2 being the correct answer and Nike being the misleading one. Hence, the study found that those with low self-esteem were more likely to pick the misleading statement compared to those with high self-esteem. On the other hand, in the second xperiment the participants were presented with a modified recognition test.
This test incorporated the correct memory and a novel, or new, memory that the students had not seen before. To illustrate, the participants could choose between identifying the hood as Gap or Adidas. Previously in the experiment, Nike was used to falsely describe the robber in a question regarding his actions while the word “Adidas” had not been mentioned at all. Furthermore, the results from the second experiment showed that the students were less likely to choose the new item because they had ot seen it before, unlike the misleading item.
To summarize, the findings of the first two experiments show that people with low self-esteem are more vulnerable to false suggestions after an even has occurred compared to those with high self-esteem. Therefore, our memories are malleable and can be changed by outside sources, even by the slightest piece of information. This experiment makes one consider how accurate existing memories are and wonder how far they may be from the truth. Indeed, it is important to have confidence in one’s self in order to avoid being strongly affected by misinformation.See More on Memory