Episodic and semantic memory in reports of food intolerance

Knibb, R C, Booth, D A, Platts, R, Armstrong, A, Booth, I W and Macdonald, A (1999) Episodic and semantic memory in reports of food intolerance. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 13 (5). pp. 451-464. ISSN 0888-4080

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It was hypothesized that accounts of occasions of eating followed by adverse symptoms (i.e. perceived food intolerance) would contain greater detail when based on recall of actual events, using episodic memory. Where accounts lacked detail it was hypothesized that recalled events were based on knowledge about food intolerance, without personal experience of a plausible incident. These hypotheses were tested by categorizing the contents of interviews of respondents to a randomized survey of the electorate in the Birmingham area, who attributed one or more adverse symptoms to one or more foods. The majority of interview records provided evidence for semantic memory rather than recall of actual episodes of food ingestion followed by symptoms(s). Vagueness of recollection correlated negatively with patho-physiological plausibility of the perceived food intolerance. Greater detail and specificity in accounts of food-symptom episodes was positively correlated with plausibility. Rareness of food-symptom(s) contingencies also correlated with detail and specificity in accounts of episodes and with plausibility of food intolerance. Detail and specificity of accounts of the eating of foods followed by symptoms, when coupled with rareness of the contingency of that food being followed by those symptoms, may prove to be a better predictor of physically diagnosed food intolerance than plausibility by patho-physiological criteria alone. Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0180 Experimental psychology
Depositing User: prof. David Booth
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2015 10:03
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2015 10:03
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/54484
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