Theses and Dissertations


The Role of Discrimination and Retention Interval on Retrieval Blocking in an Eyewitness Memory Paradigm

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Eakin, Deborah K.

Committee Member

Williams, Carrick C.

Committee Member

Giesen, J. Martin

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


If a person witnesses an event, but later receives information that contradicts what they witnessed, their memory can be impaired. An experiment was conducted to determine whether memory impairment due to misleading post-event information can be eliminated or reduced by making it easier to discriminate between the witnessed event and the post event. In addition, the study determines whether a long versus a short delay between the introduction of post-event misinformation and the test of event memory will reduce the effect of misleading post-event information. Finally, the impact of both discrimination and delay on one particular theoretical mechanism proposed to explain memory impairment, retrieval blocking, was examined. Results indicated that, at test, retrieval blocking was alleviated both when participants could discriminate between the event and post event, and after a 48-hour delay. Two competing hypotheses are reviewed and discussed as to theoretical explanations for the misinformation effect and retrieval blocking.


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