The Role of Agency in Memory for Narratives
Xian Li, Savannah Born, Janice Chen, Johns Hopkins University, United States; Buddhika Bellana, York University, Canada
Posters 1 Poster
Pacific Ballroom H-O
Thu, 25 Aug, 19:30 - 21:30 Pacific Time (UTC -7)
Memory researchers use naturalistic stimuli to simulate real-world experience in the laboratory. However, in daily life, we continually make choices which guide ongoing events and shape later memory. The current study aims to study how agency affects memory for narratives by giving participants complete, some, or no control over the direction of a story as they read it (“Choose-Your-Own-Adventure”). First, we examined the effect of agency on recollection for individual events; we found that memory was impaired for events where choices were unfulfilled. Second, we probed the relationship between narrative structure and memory, where structure was quantified by transforming each story into a network of causally or semantically related events. We found that narrative network structure predicted memory, and this effect was modulated by agency.