The enduring effect of availability

Krystin M. Corby, Donald Homa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The present study addressed whether experienced ease of retrieval of autobiographical events affects trait judgments made immediately and after a delay (Experiment 1) and whether this influence is modulated by either of two discounting instructions (Experiment 2). In Experiment 1, participants first attempted to retrieve 6 or 12 personal memories for different traits and then made ease of retrieval and self-trait judgments immediately or 1 week later. In Experiment 2, participants made immediate ratings and then delayed ratings under 3 instructional manipulations: a generic instruction to repeat these judgments, to make these ratings after they were reminded of their original recall total, or to make these ratings after they had their retrieval ease discounted or augmented. In each experiment, an enduring effect of availability was obtained in that the relationship between ease of retrieval and self-trait rating was only slightly affected by the delay. Being reminded of the original number of recalled memories nullified the relationship between ease of retrieval and trait rating. However, discounting or augmenting ease of retrieval, which altered ease of retrieval ratings, did not. Potential explanations for an enduring effect of availability are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-202
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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