Journal of Personality and Social Psycholology, 1991 Dec;61(6):923-9

Transactive memory in close relationships.*

Wegner DM, Erber R, Raymond P

Department of Psychology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville 22903-2477.

Memory performance of 118 individuals who had been in close dating relationships for at least 3 months was studied. For a memory task ostensibly to be performed by pairs, some Ss were paired with their partners and some were paired with an opposite-sex partner from another couple. For some pairs a memory structure was assigned (e.g., 1 partner should remember food items, another should remember history items, etc.), whereas for others no structure was mentioned. Pairs studied together without communication, and recall was tested in individuals. Memory performance of the natural pairs was better than that of impromptu pairs without assigned structure, whereas the performance of natural pairs was inferior to that of impromptu pairs when structure was assigned.

* Reproduced with permission of the APA - Journal of Personality and Social Psychology