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What causes the sharp end recall effect in recall of disaster stories?

Pendaroska, N. (2021) What causes the sharp end recall effect in recall of disaster stories?

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Abstract:When people are asked to recall tragic accidents, they tend to remember more those causes that were closest to the scene of the accident in terms of time and space, referred to as sharp end factors. The purpose of the current study is to investigate what causes this sharp end effect in recall by looking at the effects of the presence or absence of sharp ends in disaster stories. Fifty participants took part in the study where they were asked to read two separate disaster stories and recall what they read. Participants were then asked to rate which factors were most blameworthy in contributing to the cause of the disaster, as well as rate the moral intention of the actors in the stories. The results indicated that the sharp end effect in recall was present when sharp end factors were mentioned in the texts. However, the absence of sharp ends in the texts did not increase recall of more remote, blunt-end factors. Furthermore, a blunt end effect in assigning blame was found to be highest when sharp end factors are included in the texts. Moreover, the inclusion of more abstract, macro-level blunt end factors did not significantly increase recall or blaming tendency of blunt ends and instead resulted in an increase of sharp end recall and blaming tendency. Finally, it was found that moral intention had no significant influence over recall and blaming tendency. The results of the study do not give a clear indication as to why the sharp end effect appears, however it is shown that recall of sharp and blunt ends could follow two different schemas.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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