Selecting Snapshots From Episodic Memory’S Photo Album: Sharing Experiences and Retrospective Evaluations

Retrospective evaluations (RE) are constructed on the basis of a few select moments of an experience. Telling others about an experience may change individuals’ REs because people generally comply with conversational norms such as keeping stories interesting for listeners by omitting mundane details and adding or exaggerating certain aspects of stories. Two studies reveal that when people are unaware of their alterations to a story, their REs become polarized and their future decisions are affected; however, when they are aware that they altered a story, they can correct for the influence of storytelling and their REs remain the same. The shift in REs for unaware individuals is related to the emergence of a new peak moment of pain or pleasure, not to increased accessibility or an exaggeration of the peak reported before the conversation.


Elizabeth Cowley (2010) ,"Selecting Snapshots From Episodic Memory’S Photo Album: Sharing Experiences and Retrospective Evaluations", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 98-101 .


Elizabeth Cowley, University of Sydney, Australia


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37 | 2010

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