Essay on Bias and False Memory Recall

Essay on Bias and False Memory Recall

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Memory refers to the “facts, events or other kinds of information we have acquired in the past and the processes involved in the acquisition, retention and retrieval of the this information” (Glisky, 2011). We rely on the validity of our memories everyday to perform basic functions such as recalling our name, age and home address. Our memory also forms an integral part of our personality: our recollection of our life experiences. However, can our memory be trusted? This essay will endeavour to show that, while we may feel as though our memory is certain, it is easily tricked and its accuracy cannot be relied upon. This will be achieved using an explanation of bias and its effect on source memory in two different psychological studies - Appearance-Based Inferences Bias Source Memory (Cassidy, Zebrowitz and Gutchess, 2012) and Who’s funny: Gender Stereotypes, Humour Production, and Memory Bias (Mickes et al., 2012). The first study looks into how facial characteristics affect source memory and the latter study investigates the interrelationship between gender and humour and how the associated bias and stereotypes affect the recall of comedic captions. Source memory is the ability to remember the context in which information was presented, rather than what was presented alone (Pandey, 2011). Also, it must be established that, in this context, bias is defined as the “distorting influences of present knowledge, beliefs, and feelings on recollection of previous experiences” (Schacter, 1999).
The first study, Appearance-Based Inferences Bias Source Memory, investigated how facial characteristics, in this case whether or not a person had a ‘baby-face’ (IV), contributes to source memory (DV). Someone is considered to have a ‘baby-face’ whe...

... middle of paper ...

...ed inferences bias source memory. Memory & cognition, 40(8), pp.1214–1224.
Glisky, E. (2011). Memory. In Caplan, B., DeLuca, J., & Kreutzer, J. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Hicks, J., & Cockman, D. (2003). The effect of general knowledge on source memory and decision processes. Journal Of Memory And Language, 48(3), 489--501.
Mickes, L., Walker, D., Parris, J., Mankoff, R. and Christenfeld, N. (2012). Who’s funny: Gender stereotypes, humor production, and memory bias. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 19(1), pp.108–112.
Pandey, J. (2011). Source Memory. In Caplan, B., DeLuca, J., & Kreutzer, J. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Schacter, D. L. (1999). The seven sins of memory: Insights from psychology and cognitive neuroscience. American Psychologist, 54 (3), p. 182.

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