ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2014, Vol. 46 ›› Issue (7): 922-930.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.00922

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  1. (1北京师范大学发展心理研究所, 北京 100875) (2香港中文大学心理系, 香港)
  • 收稿日期:2013-07-30 发布日期:2014-07-25 出版日期:2014-07-25
  • 通讯作者: 王大华

Effect of Emotional Valence and Time Interval on the False Memory of Pictures among Older Adults

XIAO Hongrui;GONG Xianmin;WANG Dahua   

  1. (1 Institute of Developmental Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China) (2 Department of Psychology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China)
  • Received:2013-07-30 Online:2014-07-25 Published:2014-07-25
  • Contact: WANG Dahua


基于信号检测论的框架, 考察不同的情绪效价以及时间间隔如何交互影响老年人在图片再认任务中的辨别力(d′)和判断标准(β), 进而影响其错误记忆。以21名老年人(女性14名)为被试, 平均年龄67.17 ± 5.03岁。根据中国老年人对国际情绪图片库(International Affective Picture System, IAPS)中图片评定的情绪参数, 选出积极、消极和中性图片各60张作为学习材料。另选积极、消极和中性图片各30张作为每次再认测验的干扰材料, 并且两次再认测验的干扰材料不同。短时间隔条件让老年人在图片记忆编码半个小时后完成对图片的再认测验; 长时间隔条件则为在三周后完成对图片的再认测验。结果发现: 1)在短时间隔条件下, β和d′共同影响虚报率; 而在长时间隔条件下, 只有β影响虚报率, d′不影响虚报率; 2)无论是在短时还是长时间隔条件下, 积极图片与消极图片的判别力d′都没有显著差别; 3)在短时间隔条件下, 老年人对消极图片的β更低、虚报率更高; 在长时间隔条件下, 老年人对积极图片的β更低、虚报率更高。研究结果表明: 老年人的错误记忆受判别力d′和判断标准β的影响。情绪效价通过作用于老年人的反应倾向(判断标准β)、而非记忆质量(判别力d′)来影响其错误记忆。时间间隔可以调节情绪效价对老年人判断标准β和错误记忆的作用, 使之随时间发生反转。老年人的“积极效应”在错误记忆中可能表现为随着时间的流逝, 老年人更愿意将积极信息报告为经历或学习过的信息。

关键词: 老年人, 情绪效价, 错误记忆, 时间效应, 辨别力, 判断标准


During the past decades, an increasing amount of studies have focused on the emotional effect of old adults’ memory. However, not a consensus has been reached yet on the effect of emotional valence on false memory in older adulthood. To explain this inconsistency among previous studies, the present study suggested a lack of consideration on both participants' memory quality and response bias. In addition, few studies have ever taken the temporal factor into account; the emotional effect of memory may alter with time. To fill this gap, the present study examined how emotional valence and time interval would influence older adults’ false memory (FM) for emotional pictures within the framework of Signal Detection Theory (SDT). SDT allows for a simultaneous inspection on both discriminability (d′; an index of memory quality) and judgment criteria (β; an index of response bias). Twenty-one elderly participants (aging 67.17 ± 5.03) completed a recognition memory task consisting of one learning phase and two follow-up recognition tests. The learning materials consisted of 180 pictures (60 positive, 60 negative and 60 neutral) selected from the International Affective Pictures System (IAPS). After the learning phase, participants were asked to finish two follow-up recognition tests half an hour later (short time-interval) and three weeks later (long time-interval), respectively. Two different sets of 90 pictures (30 positive, 30 negative and 30 neutral) selected from the IAPS were respectively used as interfering materials in the two recognition tests. It was found that (1) both discriminability (d′) and judgment criteria (β) were negatively correlated with FM (using false alarm rate as its index) in the short time-interval follow-up recognition test, suggesting a joint contribution of these two factors to FM. However, in the long time-interval recognition test, only β could predict older adults’ FM, suggesting that β, rather than d′, took a critical role in FM as memory blurred with time. (2) Regardless of the length of time- interval, no evidence of distinct d' was revealed between negative and positive pictures. To clarify, d′ might have nothing to do with the divergence of emotional effects on older adults’ FM. (3) Negative emotion caused a lower β and a higher FM in the recognition test with a short time-interval. However, when it came to the long time-interval condition, positive emotion took a similar effect. These results altogether suggest that the emotional valence influence older adults’ FM by impacting response bias (i.e. β) but not memory quality (i.e. d′). The effects of positive and negative valence on FM may reverse as encoding-retrieval time-interval prolongs. Specifically, when the time-interval is short, negative emotion leads to a lower β and a higher level of FM. However, as the time-interval prolongs, it may be positive emotion that causes the same effect. In the domain of FM, older adults’ disposition for positive information, named as “the positivity effect”, may be reflected as an increasing tendency to inaccurately reconstruct positive information into their memory with time.

Key words: older adults, emotional valence, false memory, time interval, discriminability, judgment criteria