Observation inflation and self-action inflation. Investigation of source memory errors as a result of action observation and action performance
SupervisorLesk, Valerie E.
MetadataView full catalogue record
KeywordsObservation inflation; Self-action inflation; Source memory errors; Mirror neurons
The University of Bradford theses are licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.
InstitutionUniversity of Bradford
DepartmentDivision of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences
This thesis investigates two source memory errors: observation inflation, where observed actions are misremembered as being performed; and self-action inflation in which self-performed actions are misremembered as having been performed by somebody else. It has been proposed that these inflations occur because of overlapping brain activity during observation and performance. This has been attributed to mirror neurone activity. To test this, observation and self-action inflations are investigated for different types of actions (meaningful, meaningless and communicative) known to evoke different mirror neurone activity. Different age groups (young adult, and elderly) were studied as were the effects of relative ethnicity between observer and performer. The Remember-Know-Guess paradigm was used. This showed that people make inflations with high qualitative details and confidence. As anticipated, elderly participants made significantly more observation inflations than young adults. Across both age groups, significantly more inflations occurred for communicative and meaningful actions than for meaningless actions supporting the idea that mirror neurones may be involved in formation of inflations. However when the effects of relative ethnicity were included in the paradigm it was found that significantly more observation inflations were formed after observing different ethnicity actors. It has been hypothesised that if mirror neurone involvement is involved in observation inflations then the highest number of inflations are expected for the same ethnicity condition because of the overlap between participant and performer. This thesis therefore suggests a less simplistic explanation of the underlying mechanisms responsible for these types of memory error.