Advertising- the seven sins of memory

As if effective marketing communication weren’t onerous sufficient to realize, even when we reach getting our message attended to and processed, and a constructive intention fashioned, the very nature of reminiscence could step in and upset everything. Memory distortion and plain old forgetting are unlucky information of life. The necessary question, nevertheless, is: can we do something about it? As with most issues, if we are to have any hope of coping with memory issues and their influence upon advertising and other marketing communications, we must first perceive what goes on.

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In this paper we will be looking at what Daniel Schacter (2001) has referred to as ‘the seven sins of memory’: transcience, absent-mindedness, blocking, misattribution, suggestibility, bias and persistence. Most of what Schacter is dealing with involves declarative memory and never procedural reminiscence, and as a result is extremely dependent upon exercise in the hippocampus. Although other brain structures are concerned in mediating declarative reminiscence, the hippocampus is crucial, particularly for duties emphasising the representational as opposed to temporal properties of declarative memory.

The hippocampus is at all times lively in encoding new info for declarative reminiscence. Nondeclarative emotional reminiscence is additionally concerned here, particularly within the circumstances of bias and persistence, which means activity within the amygdala as properly. There is compelling evidence that the amygdala is critical to emotional learning and memory (cf. Griffiths 1997). Imperfections in memory have obvious implications for the successful processing of advertising. Even if a constructive intention is shaped because of publicity to an advert, if a reminiscence malfunction interferes with that intention, the advertising will be ineffective.

The problems associated with these ‘seven sins of memory’, and what advertisers can do about it, are mentioned below. THE SIN OF TRANSIENCE

Forgetting that naturally occurs over time could also be thought of as transcience. While the memory of what one did yesterday may be all however good, over time those recollections tend to turn out to be extra a generic description of what one expects to occur beneath those circumstances quite than what really did occur.

•Advertising implication: The sin of transience implies that what individuals ‘recall’ from promoting is more likely to mirror a generic description of what is expected a couple of brand rather than the specific benefits which may be a part of the message. This has clear implications for deciphering recall measures of advertising messages. But, extra importantly, it additionally suggests that the specific content of selling communication should be in preserving with, or carefully integrated with, prior understandings of the brand. A current advert for Reynolds Wrap illustrates this might be accomplished with a headline ‘Sticky Foods Won’t Stic’ spelled out in cheese on a pan of lasagne, with a portion reduce out of the nook slicing off the final letter of ‘stick’, revealing the aluminium foil, clean, beneath. Transcience increases with age. While older adults those over 50 years of age have the same capability to remember in the brief term as youthful individuals, over time, reminiscence of particular detail deteriorates more rapidly. As a outcome, older adults are likely to depend upon a common sense of ‘knowing’ quite than particular recall.

The drawback of reminiscence transience can be mediated by extra elaborative encoding, essentially by stimulating the lower left frontal cortex. One popular way of making an attempt to encourage extra elaborate encoding is through the use of visual imagery mnemonics to facilitate reminiscence. In fact, this concept goes back to the early Greeks. Unfortunately for advertising communication, not only does utilizing visible mnemonics require a great deal of concentration and effort (and there is no simple way to encourage such effort), but for most individuals there is actually little or no evidence of general memory enchancment utilizing such strategies.

•Advertising implication: However, one method to encourage extra elaborative encoding to assist reduce transcience is to narrate information the audience is thinking about remembering with one thing they already know. In advertising, this might be inspired with questions within the copy to stimulate elaboration: for instance, in a current advert for the Dodge Caravan with the headline ‘What Idiot Coined the Phrase ‘Stay at Home Mom’?’ THE SIN OF ABSENT-MINDEDNESS

When one fails to pay correct consideration to something and as a result doesn’t encode it properly, or when the data is definitely in memory, but missed when wanted to be retrieved, one experiences the sin of absent-mindedness. Absent-mindedness manifests itself both in failing to remember previous experiences in addition to in failing to recollect to do something in the future. Both, of course, can prove troublesome for advertising communication. Also, the reality that absentmindedness is extra likely for routine experiences that don’t in and of themselves require elaborative encoding (e.g. publicity to advertising) adds to the problem. Unfortunately, routine behaviour (which actually contains such things as studying magazines and watching television) is associated with low levels of prefrontal cortex activity within the left inferior space, which makes it difficult to type vivid recollections. Such automatic or superficial ranges of encoding can also lead to something known as ‘change blindness’ (Simons & Levin 1998), where folks fail to detect modifications over time, because of an incapability to recall particulars.

This has obvious implications for the introduction of recent benefits over time in promoting campaigns, or for repositioning. Memories for past experiences may be classified as both recollections or familiarity. Recalling particular particulars from memory (e.g. remembering particular benefit claims from an advert) is defined as recollection. Familiarity is when one has a sense of merely being aware of something with out recalling particular details (e.g. remembering ‘seeing’ an advert, but not explicit content). This difference is essential, as a outcome of when there may be divided attention during exposure, there is a vital impact upon recollection, however little or no effect upon familiarity (cf. research by Craik et al. 1996). •Advertising implication: Because one is more more doubtless to pay partial attention rather than full attention to advertising, familiarity with promoting is more doubtless than recollection of specifics from the advertisement.

This underscores the significance of sustaining a consistent ‘look and feel’ over time (Percy et al. 2001), encouraging familiarity, and utilising imagery that may elicit a optimistic profit (associated with the brand) even at low or even sub-cognitive ranges of consideration. Additionally, an excessive amount of exposure, particularly massed publicity, could lead to decrease ranges of specific ‘recollection’ (as we perceive from as way back as Ebbinghaus 1885). Spaced exposures generally end in better memory, a discovering demonstrated in Strong’s simulations (1974) of assorted media schedules based mostly upon Zielske’s work, and more lately in fMRI studies performed by Wagner et al. (1998). Remembering to do one thing sooner or later (e.g. shopping for an advertised model the subsequent time you may be shopping) is described by psychologists as ‘prospective memory’. Einstein and McDaniel (1990, 1997 with Shaw) have supplied a helpful way of looking at this idea of potential reminiscence, distinguishing between what they call ‘event-based’ potential reminiscence, where we want to remember to do something at a specific occasion, and ‘time-based’ prospective memory, when one needs to recollect to do one thing at a selected time in the future. An example of event-based potential reminiscence can be wanting to buy a brand new brand the subsequent time you are on the retailer. An example of time-based potential reminiscence would be making sure you’re home at 3p.m. to meet the supply man. Why folks expertise potential reminiscence failure is that they are usually so preoccupied with other things of their lives that when the occasion occurs, or the time arrives when it’s necessary to remember to do one thing, the proper associations in reminiscence usually are not activated.

•Advertising implication: Prospective reminiscence failure may be minimised in advertising by utilizing distinctive cues which might be unlikely to be related to other long-term reminiscences (especially for aggressive brands). It is important to determine hyperlinks in reminiscence with the suitable category need in such a method that when a buy order or utilization event occurs, it’ll trigger a reminiscence of the intention to behave. This is especially true for recognition-driven brand awareness, which suggests for many package deal items merchandise. In the store point-of-purchase materials as well as packaging should be both sufficiently informative to trigger the saved memory of an intention to buy, and be distinctive enough to minimise confusion with different brand recollections. Shoppers are almost always in a hurry and preoccupied with different things when they are in a retailer, and this will get in the way in which of attending to the appropriate potential reminiscence cue. This is just the type of thing that goes on when a salesman creates a distraction, hoping you’ll forget all about your preliminary good intentions not to be influenced by his pitch, as we all know from the literature on compliant behaviour (cf. Cialdini 2001). THE SIN OF BLOCKING

We are all conversant in the sin of blocking, that all-too-familiar experience of recognising someone however not being in a position to keep in mind their name. According to Schacter (2001), blocking isn’t the same thing as absent-mindedness or transience. In the case of blocking, the memory has been encoded and stored, unlike absent-mindedness. In fact, an appropriate retrieval cue could possibly be in place, but the affiliation is simply not made. Unlike transience, with blocking, the data remains to be in memory, however remains just out of attain when required. Because blocking usually occurs when making an attempt to remember names, it potentially is normally a downside for brand names. Blocking appears to originate within the left temporal pole, the place there’s a breakdown within the hyperlink made between the traits related to one thing and the name by which it is known.

The purpose people usually have trouble remembering someone’s name is that a person’s name tends to be isolated in reminiscence from any conceptual knowledge about that person and, as a result, difficult to retrieve. Most fashions of name retrieval hold that activation of phonological representations in memory occur solely after activation of conceptual and visual representations. This is why it is easier to recall something about a person than to recall their name. It can be what can lead to remembering one thing about a product without being able to recall the model name. Interestingly, names that are most likely to be blocked are familiar ones which haven’t just lately been encountered (Burke et al. 1991. •Advertising implication: Brand names that aren’t well built-in or related to obvious associations with category want will be extremely susceptible to blocking. If there are no logical and instant hyperlinks in memory between a brand name and the class need, there is the risk of occasional blocking. Arbitrary or extra summary brand names might be blocked more typically than descriptive brand names, even when these names are equally acquainted to individuals (cf. Brdant & Valentine 1998).

Brand names similar to Vitalegs (a herbal gel that relieves drained legs) and Soft Scrub (a cleanser that lets you clear with out harsh scratching) illustrate good descriptive model names which are less likely to be susceptible to blocking. To minimise blocking, it’s essential to suppress the retrieval of lately encountered information that is associated to a recall cue so that the mind isn’t cluttered with irrelevancies that would intervene with the specified reminiscence. •Advertising implication: When a brand possesses similar or comparable advantages because the main model in its category, will in all probability be that a lot more durable to build an affiliation for those benefits with the brand due to learned interference from promoting for the main model. This again suggests the necessity to have copy (and packaging as nicely as different advertising communication) unique to a model in order to avoid a number of connections in memory that would minimise or override the desired brand-related memory.

Certain retrieval inhibitions that lead to blocking could be ‘released’ if we encounter a sufficiently highly effective cue (e.g. nondeclarative emotional memories) that helps us re-experience one thing in the same way by which it was initially skilled. Appropriate triggers in advertising or different advertising communication that elicit the right emotional memories may assist overcome retrieval inhibitions, and launch positive reminiscences for a brand. A wonderful advert for Nestl’s Toll House chocolate chips showing a mom with a pan of chocolate chip cookies recent out of the oven with somewhat girl trying on in anticipation completely illustrates this level. THE SIN OF MISATTRIBUTION

If one appropriately remembers one thing discovered, however attributes it to the mistaken source, that is misattribution. Often known as ‘unconscioustransference’, it causes real issues with eyewitness identification. The problem stems from a strong sense of common familiarity, coupled with an absence of particular recollection. While the implications of misattribution in promoting are obviously not as serious as they’re with eyewitness identification, it could however cause entrepreneurs real problems.

•Advertising implication: Avoiding misattribution requires greater than simply retrieving appropriate benefits from memory. The benefit should be linked collectively in reminiscence in such a method that you make the proper affiliation of the brand with its benefit claim. This linking process is identified as ‘memory binding’. All of the important brandbenefit associations in promoting should be certain together by the receiver into a unifying complete on the time of encoding. When advertising for different brands is visually or verbally similar, this reminiscence binding is unlikely to occur, resulting in memory conjunction error.

Memory conjunction errors happen as a end result of people misattribute robust familiarity with comparable (even if not identical) issues from more than one supply as coming from a single source; brand advertising in our case. Interestingly, a robust visualverbal congruence may help minimise misattribution (cf. Schacter et al. 1999). A recent series of adverts for Good Humor-Breyers uses the exact format and headline (‘Less fats, fewer calories, no guilt’) for 3 manufacturers: Popsicle, Breyers and Klondike. This would seem to nearly encourage misattribution.

Suggestibility in memory happens as a result of one tends to include information that has been learned from an outside source as something personally skilled. This information may come from any external supply, together with promoting or different advertising communication. While suggestibility is similar to the sin of misattribution, misattribution does not require ideas from exterior sources. But when the 2 combine, it’s quite attainable for us to develop recollections of one thing which in reality never occurred. •Advertising implication: Interestingly, while suggestibility could also be a ‘sin’ of memory, in the world of selling communication this sin could often become a blessing. For instance, suggestive questions may produce reminiscence distortions by creating supply reminiscence problems.

As a result, advertising that utilises questions that remind individuals of a favourable model association could event a ‘memory’ for that constructive experience, even if it never occurred, e.g.: ‘Remember how straightforward it is to take away these nasty stains if you use our brand?’ Schacter has suggested that when you embellish a fake memory with vivid psychological images it ought to make it look and feel like a real reminiscence. This relies upon work accomplished by Hyman and Pentland (1996) in efficiently creating false childhood memories via suggestion, just by asking subjects about things that never occurred. One of the important conclusions they drew from their work is that these false memories produce vivid visible images. •Advertising implication: The software to promoting is apparent. If a suggested favourable expertise with a model is reinforced with a robust visual image of such an experience, it should help seed a memory of a positive expertise. In an extension of those concepts, we know that top-of-the-line methods to elicit early childhood recollections is to ask somebody to ‘visualise’ themselves as youngsters.

While there is not a proof that anybody can remember anything much sooner than about two years of age, because the areas of the mind wanted for episodic reminiscence usually are not fully mature till that age, with suggestive visualisation methods one can create false ‘memories’ for occasions going back virtually to birth (cf. Spanos et al. 1999). The key here, as in all suggestibility, is expectancy. If one is instructed to anticipate one thing, and it seems believable, it’s possible to create quite strong false reminiscences. •Advertising implication: It may be very tough to suggest a false memory for something that runs counter to a latest or strong existing reminiscence. If you don’t like a brand, advertising just isn’t more likely to create a false reminiscence that you simply do; nor do you have got to strive. But if a model is one of a set of manufacturers used by the receiver, it’s definitely potential to counsel extra optimistic experiences with that brand. And if it is a brand they haven’t used, if the advertising can relate it to a constructive expertise from childhood, it’s fairly attainable to suggest constructive reminiscences for the benefit, and then link it to the brand. THE SIN OF BIAS

The sin of bias displays how current understandings, beliefs and feelings have the power to distort how one interprets new experiences and the memory of them. Biases which might be associated with memory of previous experiences will greatly influence how one perceives and understands new info or situations. Schacter talks about 5 main forms of bias: consistency, change, hindsight, egocentric and stereotypical biases. Gazzaniga (1998) has recognized something in the left brain that he calls an ‘interpreter’ that repeatedly attracts upon people’s experiences and understanding of things to be able to present some stability to their psychological world. This would seem to be the neurological supply of biases, and utilises such things as inferences, rationalisations and generalisations in relating the previous with the current, enabling folks to justify their present attitudes with previous experiences and emotions. The left mind interpreter, nonetheless, is mediated by techniques in the best brain that are more attuned to actual representations of what’s going on on the planet around us. Consistency and change bias

Consistency bias reflects an inclination to behave (or believe) today in a trend according to how one remembers comparable earlier experiences. When this happens, present experiences and feelings are filtered via and made to match memories of these previous experiences and feelings. Because recollections are not ‘exact’, folks are most likely to infer their previous beliefs, attitudes and feelings from what they’re experiencing at present. •Advertising implication: This suggests that for individuals who maintain current positive attitudes toward a brand, advertising may imply they are of long standing. For brand switchers who include a selected brand in their purchase set, advertising may indicate a protracted standing preference for that model: ‘You know you’ve at all times liked this brand, why not buy more?’ Something related happens with change bias, the place one remembers something being worse than it actually was, making what they feel now an improvement by comparability. Both consistency and alter bias can occur because they assist cut back cognitive dissonance, even when someone isn’t really aware of the supply of the inconsistency they’re attempting to manage (Lieberman et al. 2000). Hindsight bias

Hindsight bias is that familiar feeling that one has always identified one thing would happen after turning into conscious of the result. One is reconstructing the past to make it according to the current. The key right here seems to be an activation of general information. The new data is built-in with other basic data in semantic memory, and isn’t distinguished as such in making judgements. There is proof that this selective recall is a operate of the general data that influences perception and comprehension, and a vulnerability to misattribution. •Advertising implication: Hindsight bias would seem to point that when exposed to promoting or other advertising communication one will ‘recall’ profit claims that are not really made, but which might have been expected to be there because of the claims that truly had been made. Work by Carli (1999) tends to assist this idea. Recent adverts for Infusium 23 set up a ‘beforeafter’ case, however leave out the ‘before’ picture, with the headline ‘You actually suppose I would allow them to publish the earlier than picture?’ This intelligent execution encourages hindsight bias as you think about the ‘before’ hair problem. Egocentric bias

The ‘self ‘ plays an necessary function in one’s ongoing psychological life, and is on the root of egocentric bias. When encoding new information by relating it to the self, memory for that data might be higher than other forms of encoding. This is as a end result of persons are extra prone to worth their own understanding of things, amongst different reasons as a outcome of the self-concept performs a key position in regulating psychological activity. As Taylor (1989) and her colleagues have identified, individuals do not see themselves objectively. •Advertising implication: The implication is apparent: embrace private references in promoting and other advertising communication. Moreover, given our tendency to see ourselves in a positive gentle, it follows that recollections related to ourselves shall be seen in a self-enhancing light. This suggests that replicate asking individuals to recollect a situation in a positive light should encourage an selfish reminiscence bias, e.g.: ‘remember if you ‘. In the identical method, selfish bias may end up from exaggerating the difficulty of past experiences: ‘remember how exhausting it was to ‘. This concept is well illustrated in a marketing campaign for National Rail’s Senior Railcard, the place a dated-looking picture of a younger child is featured, with headlines like ‘Remember what it was prefer to go somewhere for the primary time’ and ‘Remember the means it felt simply to let yourself go’. THE SIN OF PERSISTENCE

Research has proven that emotionally charged experiences are better remembered than much less emotional occasions. The sin of persistence includes remembering belongings you want you’d forget, and it is strongly associated with one’s emotional experiences. •Advertising implication: Emotionally-charged information routinely attracts consideration; and even within the briefest exposure, the emotional significance of will probably be retrieved from nondeclarative emotional memory, and evaluated as to how that info might be encoded. Understanding the emotional associations generated by particular advertising is crucial. Because people are more likely to remember the central focus of emotionally arousing info rather than peripheral details, it’s important to tie the model in marketing communication to the suitable emotion. Otherwise, it will turn into peripheral to the knowledge conveyed (a problem with plenty of highly entertaining advertising). There is evidence that persistence thrives in unfavorable emotional conditions corresponding to disappointment, disappointment and remorse. One’s memory of traumatic experiences is persistent, and while these unwanted recollections could happen in any of the senses, visual reminiscences are by far the commonest. Research reported by Ochsner (2000) helps this idea.

He found that when folks recognise a positive visual picture they tend to simply say it is familiar to them. But after they recognise negative visible pictures, individuals relate detailed, specific recollections of what they thought and felt once they have been initially uncovered to the picture. •Advertising implication: All of this underscores the importance of the visible images in promoting and different forms of advertising communication. Because persistence thrives in a unfavorable emotional climate, if advertising illustrates disappointment or problems coping with a situation, which is resolved by utilizing the model, this should faucet into any persistent reminiscences of product dissatisfaction (always assuming such dissatisfaction). It also suggests that for applicable product classes (especially these reflecting high-involvement informational selections such as medical or different insurance coverage, monetary planning, and so forth) visual ‘reminders’ of past problems which might be averted with a brand should be an effective strategy. Such a strategy should also be equally efficient in situations where there could be sturdy psychological threat involved, e.g. reminding young people of a social ‘disaster’ which would by no means happen in the occasion that they used our model.

The root of much of this kind of activity is centred within the amygdala, the supply of nondeclarative emotional reminiscence. It is the amygdala that regulates reminiscence storage, and can launch hormones that may ‘force’ us to remember an expertise vividly (LeDoux 1996). And as we have already noted, this response by the amygdala is more likely to occur for unfavorable than constructive expertise. •Advertising implication: For applicable product categories, it might make sense to create conditions in promoting that counsel potential threats to the receiver’s wellbeing. This ‘threat’ may then well intrude upon energetic reminiscence when excited about the category, with our brand linked to avoiding the difficulty. This is well illustrated in a recent advert for Imitrex, an moral drug for migraine, that makes use of the headline ‘I can’t let a migraine name the photographs that’s why I use Imitrex’. SUMMARY

Schacter has offered us with a particularly useful framework for taking a glance at reminiscence issues: his seven sins of reminiscence. Each of these ‘imperfections’ (in his words) has the potential for interfering with the profitable processing of advertising and different advertising communication. Recent work in neurobiology, utilising the recent know-how of fMRIs (functional magnetic resonance imaging) and PET scans (positron emission tomography), has proven us that our earlier understanding of recollections as ‘snapshots’ saved away within the mind able to be recalled just isn’t how the brain works. Memories for objects and experiences are decomposed into numerous totally different elements and those parts are stored in numerous areas of the mind, ready to be reassembled and ‘remembered’. This underscores why memories are rarely good, and why they are often doubtlessly unreliable. As this dialogue makes clear, efficient communication faces a quantity of formidable hurdles in memory. However, forewarned with this information, we’re in a greater position to keep away from or a minimal of minimise some of these potential problems.

To help promoting communication overcome the seven sins of reminiscence, advertisers ought to:

•ensure the message is carefully integrated with how a model is known (transcience) •encourage elaboration of factors the target is interested in remembering (transcience)

•use personal references, particularly to constructive recollections (bias)

•imply current positive model attitudes are of long standing (bias)

•tie manufacturers to acceptable feelings (blocking, persistence)

•use distinctive cues not more doubtless to be related to different longterm memories (absent-mindedness) •create a novel brandbenefit declare hyperlink (misattribution)

•establish links in memory to appropriate class want (absentmindedness) •make positive those links are well built-in with apparent associations to the class want (blocking) •ensure a consistent ‘look and feel’ over time to encourage familiarity (absent-mindedness)

•use robust visual pictures to create or reinforce optimistic memories related to the model (suggestibility)

•utilise reminders of previous problems that might be avoided or solved by the model (persistence). If these factors are thought of within the creation of advertising executions, one is nicely on the method in which to avoiding, or a minimum of minimising, issues inherent in how memory works. REFERENCES

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