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Social influences on unconscious plagiarism and anti-plagiarism

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People are more likely to unconsciously plagiarise ideas from a same-sex partner than a different-sex partner, and more likely to unconsciously plagiarise if recalling alone rather than in the presence of their partner [Macrae, C. N., Bodenhausen, G. V., & Calvini, G. (1999). Contexts of cryptomnesia: May the source be with you. Social Cognition, 17, 273–297. doi:10.1521/soco.1999.17.3.273]. Two sets of experiments explore these phenomena, using extensions of the standard unconscious plagiarism paradigm. In Experiment 1A participants worked together in same- or different-sex dyads before trying to recall their own ideas or their partner's ideas. More source errors were evident for same-sex dyads (Experiment 1A), but this effect was absent when participants recalled from both sources simultaneously (Experiment 1B). In Experiment 2A, participants recalled ideas from a single source either alone or in the presence of the partner, using an extended-recall task. Partner presence did not affect the availability of ideas, but did reduce the propensity to report them as task compliant, relative to a partner-present condition. Simultaneous recall from both sources removed this social effect (Experiment 2B). Thus social influences on unconscious plagiarism are apparent, but are influenced by the salience of the alternate source at retrieval.
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Keywords: Memory; Social; Source-memory; Unconscious plagiarism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Psychology, Plymouth University, Plymouth, UK

Publication date: August 8, 2016

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