MacLeod M (2002) Retrieval-induced forgetting in eyewitness memory: Forgetting as a consequence of remembering. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 16 (2), pp. 135-149. https://doi.org/10.1002/acp.782
Recent psychological research on memory has demonstrated that the act of remembering can also prompt forgetting, or more specifically, the inhibition of particular items in memory (i.e. retrieval-induced forgetting). Extending this line of inquiry, this article reports the findings from two studies designed to establish whether retrieval-induced forgetting can occur for meaningful stimuli that could be experienced under eyewitness situations. In Study 1, participants were asked to recall previously presented household items that had ostensibly been stolen in burglaries, while in Study 2, participants were asked to recall descriptive details about two individuals suspected of making bogus money collections. Both studies provided unequivocal evidence that retrieval-induced forgetting can occur for such meaningful stimuli. Importantly, in each case it was demonstrated that the observed effects could not be attributed to output interference. This article considers the likely extent of the problem posed by retrieval-induced forgetting for eyewitness reliability and some of the practical and theoretical implications of this work.
Applied Cognitive Psychology: Volume 16, Issue 2