Memory for partner-related stimuli: Free recall and frequency estimation

Anita Jose, Suparna Rajaram, K. Daniel O'Leary, Mathew C. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The role of partner schema in memory for laboratory-presented stimuli was examined to evaluate the existence of memory bias associated with partner sentiment. Highly dissatisfied (n = 30) or satisfied (n = 35) dating individuals rated, recalled, and estimated the frequency of positive and negative partner trait-relevant words. Word applicability ratings were consistent with relationship schema for all participants. Recall for positive partner-related words was schema consistent, but recall for negative words was unrelated to relationship satisfaction. All participants accurately estimated the proportion of positive and negative words, suggesting that recall is better than frequency estimation for detecting partner schemas in memory. Together, findings suggest a positive sentiment-override in memory for partner-related stimuli in dating relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)658-670
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • dating relationships
  • frequency estimation
  • memory
  • recall
  • relationship satisfaction
  • schema
  • sentiment override

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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