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“Be careful what you recall”: Retrieval-induced forgetting of genuine real-life autobiographical memories

Somos, Eszter; Mazzoni, Giuliana; Gatti, Daniele; Jellema, Tjeerd


Eszter Somos

Giuliana Mazzoni

Daniele Gatti


Which episodes from our lives will be remembered and which will be forgotten, and why? This question has still not been answered satisfactorily by research into autobiographical memory. Previous work has shown that retrieval-induced forgetting (RIF) might be a factor responsible for forgetting parts of the autobiographical memory content. However, none of the previous studies assessed RIF in memories for recent, controlled, personal events. We report here the results of an experiment in which autobiographical memories of real-life events were induced in a controlled, but fully naturalistic, manner under the disguise of team-building exercises, while an adapted RIF paradigm was applied to these memories. Results clearly showed the influence of RIF on autobiographical memory retrieval. These findings demonstrate conclusively that RIF occurs in everyday life when remembering personal events.


Somos, E., Mazzoni, G., Gatti, D., & Jellema, T. (2022). “Be careful what you recall”: Retrieval-induced forgetting of genuine real-life autobiographical memories. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 19, 2022
Online Publication Date Feb 24, 2022
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date May 15, 2022
Publicly Available Date May 18, 2022
Journal Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Print ISSN 1747-0218
Electronic ISSN 1747-0226
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Autobiographical memory; Retrieval-induced forgetting; Output interference
Public URL


Accepted manuscript (713 Kb)

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Copyright © 2022 by Experimental Psychology Society

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