Memory as a Tape Recorder

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Memory Failures

  • Transcience Forgetting with the passage of time, most forgetting occurs immediately, decrease over time
  • Blocking - failure to retrieve information that is available in memory even though you are trying to produce it
  • Suggestibility - Tendancy to incorperate misleading information into personal recollection
  • Misattributions - assigning a memory to the wrong source
  • Biases - distorting influences of present knowledge on recollection of past events, e.g. consistency bias, change bias, egocentric bias
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Eye witness testimony

  • EWT is used to convict people in court
  • Wise and Safer (2004) - 34% of 160 US judges believed that confidence correlated with accuracy of EWT
  • Case of Timothy Cole - wrongfully convicted of **** after he was idnentifed by the victim, sentenced to 25 years, he died in prison.
  • Belief in the myth can create serious consequences.
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Evidence

  • Alvarez and Brown (2002) - 36% of people believe the myth
  • Neisser and Harsch (1992) - research into flashbulb memories, people asked about the disintergration of the challenger shuttle 24 hours after and 2 and a half years after. There were large differences between the two accounts
  • Deese-Roedinger-McDermott paradigm - false memories can easily be implanted
  • Hymen - implanted false childhood memory of traumatic event
  • Case of John Dean - reported on the Watergate scandal, his statements were truthful but inaccurate, misattributio of comments to wrong dates, infalted his own importance in conversations (egoistic bias)
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