Research Design Connection: Asking in the Proper Order

Research by Ditta and Storm indicates that when talking to users about their experience with a place or an object, it may be more productive to ask about prior experiences before moving on to review anticipated future ones. They determined that, “People are able to imagine events in the future that have not yet happened, an ability referred to as episodic future thinking…we show that engaging in episodic future thinking can cause related autobiographical memories…and episodic event descriptions…to become less recallable in the future than they would have been otherwise. This finding suggests that episodic future thinking can serve as a memory modifier by changing the extent to which memories from our past can be subsequently retrieved.” In short, thinking about the future can make it more difficult to remember related material from the past. Annie Ditta and Benjamin Storm. “Thinking About the Future Can Cause Forgetting of the Past.” …