While I was talking to Tammy, she told me about the upcoming changes at work that were going to be taking place in the near future. Tammy explained to me that new supervisors were being hired and that there would be more supervisors than there was before and it would affect the electricians, elevator technicians, plumbers, basically all the trade workers but it did not affect our chain of supervisors.
After talking with Tammy, I talked with a few instructors, students, and Jenn who is another co-worker. At lunch I sat with Nickie in the breakroom. I asked her if she had heard about the upcoming changes for the trade workers. She told me that she had heard about the changes earlier that morning from Bob, one of the plumbers. Nickie then asked me who I had heard about the changes from and I replied that I had heard it from Jenn. After thinking about it I realized that I had committed a source monitoring error and that I had actually heard about the upcoming changes from Tammy.
Source monitoring, according to our textbook written by E. Bruce Goldstein, “is the process of determining the origins of our memories, knowledge, or beliefs” (2011). When I mistakenly identified Jenn as the source who originally informed me of the upcoming changes, I first retrieved the memory of the conversation and then I had to use a decision process to determine who I had the conversation with. The last person that I had talked to about the changes before talking to Nickie was Jenn and I confused the original conversation with Tammy to my more recent conversation with Jenn.
Committing a source monitoring error is common. Emotions, thoughts, and experiences that occur before or after the memory is created can influence that memory. In this particular situation my experiences after talking with Tammy about the upcoming changes, which was me talking with a few other people including Jenn, was involved with me confusing Jenn as the actual source of the original conversation I had with Tammy.
Golstein, E.B. (2011). Cognitive Psychology: Connecting Mind, Research, and Everyday Experience. Wadsworth Publishing. Belmont.