Remembering Social Events: A Construal Level Approach

Natalie A. Wyer, Timothy J. Hollins, Sabine Pahl

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Abstract

Social events are rich in information, yet research into how people remember such events has typically been limited to considering one aspect (e.g., faces, behaviors) at a time. Based on an internal meta-analysis of a program work encompassing 15 laboratory, field, and on-line experiments involving 1,230 participants, we found that construal level influences both the ability to recognize people involved in the event (d = 0.30) and the way the social aspects of the event are described (average d = 0.48). In contrast, memory for background objects/scenes that were present during the event was unaffected by construal level. We discuss these findings in terms of their implications for both event memory (and situations where different aspects of the same event are remembered) and for construal level (and the question of how and when construal is likely to affect memory).
Original languageEnglish
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Early online date18 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Aug 2021

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