Essay 4: Outline and Discuss the Emotional Factors of Memory

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  • Essay 4: Outline and Discuss the Emotional Factors of Memory
    • Emotion enhances memory and recall vivid emotions
      • Vivid memory
        • FLASHBULB MEMORY
          • Emotion enhances memory and recall vivid emotions
            • Vivid memory
              • FLASHBULB MEMORY
                • A flashbulb memory is a particularly vivid, detailed and long lasting memory of the circumstances surrounding a particularly momentous events
                  • What six kinds of info are most likely to be recalled about the moment when the event was firdt heard?
                    • 1) Where were you when you heard the news?
                    • 2) What were you doing?
                    • 3) Who gave you the news?
                    • 4) What did you feel about it?
                    • 5) What did other people feel about it?
                    • 6) What happened immediately after you heard the news?
                  • According to brown and Kulick (1977) what criteria must be met in order an event to trigger a flashbulb memory:
                    • The event has to be highly significant on an personal or worldwide level
                    • The event has to be unexpected
                    • B+K believes that an emotional event triggers a neural mechanism that causes the details to be imprinted on the memory. They believed it is a special tyoe of memory becasue of the detail and accuracy with which the event is remembered
                • Evidence that supports Flashbulb memory
                  • Conway et al (1994)
                    • Investigated British undergraduate students memories of Margaret Thatcher's resignation as prime minister in 1990
                      • Main findings: They found that 86% of British undergraduate students had vivid and accurate memories of the unexpected resignation of Thatcher as PM in 1990 even after 11 months
                        • This compared to only 29% of non-British students
                      • This supports as:
                        • It was unexpected
                        • It was nationally significant which allows for the different numbers between British and Non-British students
                • Evidentce against Flashbulb memory
                  • McCloskey et al(1988)
                    • McCloskey concluded that Flashbulb memories are subjected to the same tyoe of inaccuraces and forgetting as other memories and one therefore not special memories
                    • People were interviewed a few days after an event and again 9 months later
                    • Main findings: Findings showed inaccuracies in peoples memories and discrepancies between what was recalled shortly after the accident and what was remembered nine months later
                  • According to Niesser (1982) what other explanation can be guven for the enduring nature of FBM
                    • He also believes that it's difficult to test the accuracy of FBM
                    • FBM become more familiar due to our use of conventional story telling technique
                    • Evidence: Neisser was convinced that he had been listening to a baseball match on the radio when he heard about the japanese bombing of Pearl harbour
                      • When he checked this he discovered that the bombing had happened outside the baseball season and so his recollection was false
                    • Niesser argued that the enduring nature of FBM results from frequent rehearsal and reworking after event rather than from beural activity at the time.
                    • Further evidence suggesting that FBM aren't accurate:
                      • Wright concluded that most people reconstructed their memories blending real experiences with accounts by other people and also things they had read about it.
                      • Wright(1993) Interviewed people about their recall of events related to the Hillsborough football distaster where 96 Liverpool supporteds were crushed to death. After 5 months most people only had vague memories
          • A flashbulb memory is a particularly vivid, detailed and long lasting memory of the circumstances surrounding a particularly momentous events
            • What six kinds of info are most likely to be recalled about the moment when the event was firdt heard?
              • 1) Where were you when you heard the news?
              • 2) What were you doing?
              • 3) Who gave you the news?
              • 4) What did you feel about it?
              • 5) What did other people feel about it?
              • 6) What happened immediately after you heard the news?
            • According to brown and Kulick (1977) what criteria must be met in order an event to trigger a flashbulb memory:
              • The event has to be highly significant on an personal or worldwide level
              • The event has to be unexpected
              • B+K believes that an emotional event triggers a neural mechanism that causes the details to be imprinted on the memory. They believed it is a special tyoe of memory becasue of the detail and accuracy with which the event is remembered
          • Evidence that supports Flashbulb memory
            • Conway et al (1994)
              • Investigated British undergraduate students memories of Margaret Thatcher's resignation as prime minister in 1990
                • Main findings: They found that 86% of British undergraduate students had vivid and accurate memories of the unexpected resignation of Thatcher as PM in 1990 even after 11 months
                  • This compared to only 29% of non-British students
                • This supports as:
                  • It was unexpected
                  • It was nationally significant which allows for the different numbers between British and Non-British students
          • Evidentce against Flashbulb memory
            • McCloskey et al(1988)
              • McCloskey concluded that Flashbulb memories are subjected to the same tyoe of inaccuraces and forgetting as other memories and one therefore not special memories
              • People were interviewed a few days after an event and again 9 months later
              • Main findings: Findings showed inaccuracies in peoples memories and discrepancies between what was recalled shortly after the accident and what was remembered nine months later
            • According to Niesser (1982) what other explanation can be guven for the enduring nature of FBM
              • He also believes that it's difficult to test the accuracy of FBM
              • FBM become more familiar due to our use of conventional story telling technique
              • Evidence: Neisser was convinced that he had been listening to a baseball match on the radio when he heard about the japanese bombing of Pearl harbour
                • When he checked this he discovered that the bombing had happened outside the baseball season and so his recollection was false
              • Niesser argued that the enduring nature of FBM results from frequent rehearsal and reworking after event rather than from beural activity at the time.
              • Further evidence suggesting that FBM aren't accurate:
                • Wright concluded that most people reconstructed their memories blending real experiences with accounts by other people and also things they had read about it.
                • Wright(1993) Interviewed people about their recall of events related to the Hillsborough football distaster where 96 Liverpool supporteds were crushed to death. After 5 months most people only had vague memories
    • Theories of memory ignore effects of emotion on memory and recall. They assume that info is processed equally and neglect to consider whether emotion affects the way info is processed.
    • Emotion reduces memory and recall
      • REPRESSION
        • According to Freud (1915) repression (motivated forgetting) is an unconscious process which ensures that threatening or anxiety provoking memories are kept from conscious awareness.
          • It has proved more difficult to demonstrate the existence of repression in the laboratory
          • Freud used case studies of patients with neurotic disorders to illustrate his ideas on repression
        • Anxiety induced memories are pushed into unconscious part of psyche below level of awareness
        • Levinger and Clarke (1961)
          • Findings: P's took longer to provide and recall the associations to the -ve words, compared to the neutral words
          • Conclusion: Emotionally charged words were more difficult to recall due to repression. This repression may be due to the amount of arousal the words produced. These findings support Freud's theory that repression of anxiety-provoking responses causes forgetting
          • Investigated the retrieval of associations to emotionally charged words compared to associations to neutral words
            • P's were asked to produce associations to words. Time taken was recorded. Then they were asked to recall the associations given for each word
          • Criticism of  L+ C
            • Bradley and Baddeley(1990) ran a similar study and found that when words were recalled 28 days later the emotional associations were recalled better.
            • This doesn't support the repression theory since emotional words actually became more memorable over time,
        • Williams (1994)
          • 38% didnt show any recollection of the sexually abuse
          • These results shws that repression of child sexually abuse is common and also that spontaneous recovery is possible
          • Of those who did recall the abuse 16% said they had in the past been unable to recall the abuse but had recovered that memory
          • P's were deceived and told the study was a follow up on all patients who received medical care at the city hospital as a child.
          • Carried out a naturalistic study interviewing 12 women aged between 18 and 31 who had been sexually assaulted as a child (up to 20 years prior)
    • Emotion Biased Memory
      • When we are in negative mood we only recall negative memories( and vice versa)- MOOD DEPENDENT MEMORY
        • Clarke and Teesdale (1982)
          • Found that people whose depression fluctuated throughout a 24 hours cycle were less likely to recall happy memories during their most depressive periods then during their neutral periods
        • MDM: Occurs where the congruence of current mood with the mood at the time of memory storage helps recall of that memory. When we are happy, we are more likely to remember other times when we were happy
        • Mood state Dependency Hypothesis: When we encode a memory, we not only record the visual and other sensory data, we also store our mood and emotional stae
          • Our present mood will affect the memories that are most easily aviabe to us
        • Eiche et al
          • P's were put into good or bad moods.
          • They were then given neutral words and asked what past memories came to mind.
          • The memories recalled inturn had associated moods similar to those that had been induced
      • When we are in negative mood we tend to focus on negative events- only negative events enter our memory system - MOOD CONGRUENT MEMORY
        • DEPRESSIVE STATE
          • When we are in negative mood we only recall negative memories( and vice versa)- MOOD DEPENDENT MEMORY
            • Clarke and Teesdale (1982)
              • Found that people whose depression fluctuated throughout a 24 hours cycle were less likely to recall happy memories during their most depressive periods then during their neutral periods
            • MDM: Occurs where the congruence of current mood with the mood at the time of memory storage helps recall of that memory. When we are happy, we are more likely to remember other times when we were happy
            • Mood state Dependency Hypothesis: When we encode a memory, we not only record the visual and other sensory data, we also store our mood and emotional stae
              • Our present mood will affect the memories that are most easily aviabe to us
            • Eiche et al
              • P's were put into good or bad moods.
              • They were then given neutral words and asked what past memories came to mind.
              • The memories recalled inturn had associated moods similar to those that had been induced
        • MCM: The MCM phenomenon refers to the tendency for individuals to attend to and learn more about events that match emotional state. Thus when we are happy, we are more likely to attend to positive details of events and remember those details (+vice versa)
        • Bower, Gikigan and Monterio (1981)
          • P's identified to a greater extend with the character whose mood resembled their own while reading the story
          • P's also recalled more info about the story character whose emotional state was similar to their own.
          • Bower et al used a controlled experiment to investigate emotion and memory, enabling them to show cause and effect. They were able to establish that sad feelings caused p's to pay more attention to sadcharacters within the story.
          • P's were hypnotised to induce happy/sad feelings and then asked to read a short narrative passage concerning 2 fictional characters
        • Usefulness of mood congruent memory- Role of memory in maintaining depression
          • There are also grounds for thinking that MCM might act to sustain depression (Teesdale 1983)
          • Recalling those memories tends to maintain or exacerbate the depression condition, which, subsequently leads to the recollection of more -ve memories, resulting in a vicious cycle.
          • If an individual is sad/depressed, MCM indicates that more -ve memories are accessible

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