ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2021, Vol. 53 ›› Issue (5): 481-493.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00481

• Reports of Empirical Studies • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The influence of members’ relationship on collaborative remembering

ZHANG Huan1,2,3, WANG Xin2, LIU Yibei2, CAO Xiancai1,2,3, WU Jie1,2,3()   

  1. 1Key Research Base of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Ministry of Education, Academy of Psychology and Behavior, Tianjin Normal University, Tianjin 300387, China
    2Faculty of Psychology, Tianjin Normal University, Tianjin 300387, China
    3Tianjin Social Science Laboratory of Students' Mental Development and Learning, Tianjin 300387, China
  • Received:2019-12-02 Published:2021-05-25 Online:2021-03-29
  • Contact: WU Jie
  • Supported by:
    doctoral foundation of Tianjin Normal University(043/135202ww1711)


Our daily life is filled with collaborative recall activities that take place among intimate individuals. For example, married couples generally communicate about episodic and autobiographical events that serve a significant social function for human beings. Therefore, it is critical to examine the effect of collaborative recall on information retrieval for both younger and older couples. The present study used unpersonal-related semantic wordlists (Experiment 1) and unpersonal-related episodic stories (Experiment 2) as learning materials, respectively, to assess the effect of intimate relationships on collaborative recall for both younger and older adults. Results of Experiment 1 replicated the classical collaborative inhibition phenomenon in younger strangers, whereas no significant recall difference between collaborative and nominal groups was found for intimate couples. Such results were further examined in Experiment 2 with episodic stories, in which both younger and older couples had information retrieval with higher accuracy than nominal groups. In addition, older couples employed positive interaction strategies that played an important role in this collaborative facilitation. Those results can be explained by the transactive memory system. That is, based on intimate relationships and shared experiences among them, an effective system of encoding, storing and retrieving information may develop, diminish, or even reverse the negative effect of collaborative recall.

Key words: collaborative remembering, members’ relationship, transactive memory systems, semantic memory, episodic memory