- They are a special kind of memory which differ from ordinary memories because they involve an enduring imprint of events surrounding an important incident
- An individual has a detailed and lasting recollection of the context in which they first heard about a personally important event
- Examples include the assasination of JFK or 9/11 or Diana's death.
- Flashbulb memories aren't the events themselves but where you were when you heard about
- The analogy of flushbulb describes the way we can often remember incidental deatils such as when, where, who, what etc like a gigantic lightbulb has illuminated the scene
- Another analogy could be like a picture, the image of the event doesn't change in accuracy but it doesn't record every aspect of the scene
- The key ingredient of all flashbulb memories is that they involve high emotional arousal at around the time of the event. Flashbulb memories can include; death, serious injury, public events such as 9/11.
- WRIGHT interviewed people's recall on the events surrounding the Hillsborough football disaster 4 years later where 96 Liverpool supporters were cruched to death. 5 months after the accident, the p's only had very vague memories. Wright concluded that most people reconstructed their memories, blending real experiences with other people's accounts of the event.
- On the other hand, SHEINGOLD AND TENNEY asked p's about personal memories such as the birth of a sibling. Most people had good memories for them when they were told, who told them etc. and these accounts remained the same over a long period of time…