Technology and Memory
My main line of research is concerned with the interaction between technology and memory (for review, see Storm & Soares, in press). I have studied the cognitive mechanisms associated with impairments that arise from sharing memory with a digital agent in the context of taking photos (Soares & Storm, 2018). I am currently focused on elucidating the effects of using digital camera and social media on autobiographical memory. My goal with this work is to develop and test theories about how people interact with external memory stores and how these repeated interactions may be changing the nature of how people use and think about their own internal memory. I plan to use this work to inform our understanding of autobiographical memory, repeated retrieval, and memory bias. I also aim to develop psychological principals can inform practices for using and developing technologies designed to hold autobiographical information.
I have completed and have several ongoing projects that investigate retrieval-induced forgetting. Retrieval-induced forgetting is observed when retrieving some subset of information causes forgetting of related but unretrieved information (Anderson, Bjork, & Bjork, 1994). I study both the cognitive mechanisms of retrieval-induced forgetting (Soares, Polack, & Miller, 2016) and applied settings in which retrieval-induced forgetting is likely to occur, including in conversation (Soares & Storm, 2017) and when reviewing digital records of events.
Memory and Forgetting in Applied Settings
Some of my projects have developed out of applied and theoretical questions about everyday memory events. In response to questions from my students, I designed experiments to test whether fidget-spinners are likely to help typical college students learn in the classroom (Soares & Storm, in press). I have also collaborated with colleagues and undergraduate research assistants to investigate topics such as déjà vu and classroom note-taking.