The effect of fear‐inducing content on memory for advertisements and on retroactive and proactive interference of programme information
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionApplied Cognitive Psychology. 2018, 32 (4), 413-419. 10.1002/acp.3409
The current study focused on whether fear‐inducing content in television advertisements leads to better memory for the advertisement but also impairs memory for programme information that either precedes the advertisements (retroactive interference) or that follows the advertisements (proactive interference). Fifty‐four participants (48 female) aged 18 to 55 watched a programme that had an advertisement break in the centre. This consisted of 6 advertisements with either fear‐inducing or nonfear‐inducing content. Participants were tested on their recall and recognition of the advertisement information as well as their recall of the first half and second half of the programme. The results indicated that fear‐inducing advertisements were better recalled than those that elicited no fear, and there was also evidence of proactive interference from fear‐inducing advertisements on programme recall. Limitations and implications of the study are discussed.