According to Sternberg (1999), memory is the extraction of past experiences for information to be used in the present. The retrieval of memory is essential in every aspect of daily life, whether it is for academics, work or social purposes. However, many often take memory for granted and assume that it can be relied on because of how realistic it appears in the mind. This form of memory is also known as flashbulb memory. (Brown and Kulik, 1977). The question of whether our memory is reliably accurate has been shown to have implications in providing precise details of past events. (The British Psychological Association, 2011). In this essay, I would put forth arguments that human memory, in fact, is not completely reliable in providing accurate depictions of our past experiences. Evidence can be seen in the following two studies that support these arguments by examining episodic memory in humans. The first study is by Loftus and Pickrell (1995) who found that memory can be modified by suggestions. The second study is by Naveh-Benjamin and Craik (1995) who found that there is a predisposition for memory to decline with increasing age.
Human memory is highly susceptible to modifications due to the compelling nature of false memories. This causes the recollection of events to be different from the way they happened or to be non-existent. (Roediger, Jacoby and McDermott, 1996). The first study by Loftus and Pickrell (1995) was to understand and determine if human’s episodic memory, which is the recollection of past events in their thoughts and feelings at that point of time, could be modified by suggestive information. (Wheeler, Stuss and Tulving, 1997). The independent variables were the types of information (3 true and 1 false) given...
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...Dermott, K. B. (1996). Misinformation effects in recall: Creating false memories through repeated retrieval. Journal of Memory and Language, 5(2), 300-318. doi: 10.1006/jmla.1996.0017
Sternberg, R. J. (1999). Cognitive psychology (2nd ed.). Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace College Publishers
Schnitzspahn, K.M., Stahl, C., Zeintl, M., Kaller, C. P., & Kliegel, M. (2013). The role of shifting, updating, and inhibition in prospective memory performance in young and older adults. Developmental Psychology, 49(8), 1544-1553. doi: 10.1037/a0030579
The British Psychological Society. (2011). Memory is not as reliable as we think. Retrieved from http:// http://www.bps.org.uk/news/memory-not-reliable-we-think
Wheeler, M. A., Stuss, D, t., & Tulving, D. (1997). Toward a theory of episodic memory: The frontal lobes and autonoetic consciousness: Psychological Bulletin, 121, 331-354
Roediger III, H. L., & McDermott, K. B. (1995). Creating False Memories: Remembering Words Not Presented in Lists. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cogntion, 21, 803-814.
Humans have an incredible capability for thinking and memory. We can remember events from our past, for our future, and of things that have no relative meaning to ourselves. These memories can be traced back to different systems of our brains through a process of encoding, storage, and retrieval. As part of the retrieval process, memories can be remembered with or without their sources. As research has found, our memories are not labeled or tagged with their origin (Johnson, Hashtroudi, & Lindsay 1993). Because of this, our memory has developed a process called source monitoring. This is how we link our memories to the source that they developed from, usually using specific characteristics and general knowledge of the memory. For example, source monitoring includes identifying who told you something, whether or not you saw an event in real life, the time of the event and whether you told something to your friend or only thought about telling it. The source-monitoring framework for the process involved in pinpointing the origin of information by Johnson and colleagues, explains both vertical and distorted memory with a common set of principles. First, a specific memory consists of specific characteristics including spatial, temporal, and perceptual details. Secondly, the memories can differ in characteristics that can be used to find the origin. More extensive source monitoring can involve beliefs about memory and cognition as well as retrieving more information from memory and finding the source of the memory given these beliefs, other specific characteristics or general knowledge (Johnson et al. 1993). Sometimes these beliefs aren't always accurate. Because some people may be influenced by their personal ideologies during retriev...
Human memory is flexible and prone to suggestion. “Human memory, while remarkable in many ways, does not operate like a video camera” (Walker, 2013). In fact, human memory is quite the opposite of a video camera; it can be greatly influenced and even often distorted by interactions with its surroundings (Walker, 2013). Memory is separated into three different phases. The first phase is acquisition, which is when information is first entered into memory or the perception of an event (Samaha, 2011). The next phase is retention. Retention is the process of storing information during the period of time between the event and the recollection of a piece of information from that event (Samaha, 2011). The last stage is retrieval. Retrieval is recalling stored information about an event with the purpose of making an identification of a person in that event (Samaha, 2011).
Steffens, M., & Mecklenbräuker, S. (2007). False memories: Phenomena, theories, and implications. Zeitschrift Für Psychologie/Journal Of Psychology, 215(1), 12-24. doi:10.1027/0044-3409.215.1.12
The article How to Tell If a Particular Memory Is True or False by Daniel M. Bernstein and Elizabeth F. Loftus, addresses the various techniques used by cognitive scientists and other researchers in hopes of distinguishing true from false memories. For this article Loftus and Bernstein, memory researchers, chose to discuss the different methods currently used, rather than trying to find new ways to tell if a particular memory is true or false. Their findings in these three different approaches are very interesting, and leads us to think critically of the veracity of true and false memories.
Human memory has been used by human as a tool to learn and think which includes social interactions, life management as well as problem solving (Loftus and Palmer 1974). Memory can be defined as the retention of information over time. Although memory is an instrument human use everyday, contemporary psychological scrutiny displayed that human memory is not a visionary reconstruction of earlier occasions making it less reliable compared to what an individual would alleged at the first place. In this paper it will be argued that human memory for past events are often influenced by other factors which can lead to inaccurate informations received. This argument is supported from studies made by Loftus and Palmer (1974), who found that human memory is not perfect since false memories can be constructed and manipulated using misleading particulars which subsequently produced deformity of memory and promote to wrong reminiscence. Evidence for this argument also can be seen from studies made by Levinger and Clark (1961), who found that human memory is not reliably accurate since false memory can be formed due to repression that may happen to an individual.
One of the most interesting phenomenon related to memory is memory distortions. One way in which they occur is through suggestibility, where people begin to remember false experiences if researchers suggested to them that they experienced it (Sternberg and Sternberg, 2012). In real-life situations, this is caused in part by memory being constructive “in that prior experiences affects how we recall things and what we actually recall from memory” (Sternberg and Sternberg, 2012). People’s prior experiences, including their bias and expectations, may influence how they experience false memory formations; the formation of false memories is also affected by several possible factors, one of which may be sleep deprivation (Frenda, Patihis, Loftus,
Memory is the tool we use to learn and think. We all use memory in our everyday lives. Memory is the mental faculty of retaining and recalling past experiences. We all reassure ourselves that our memories are accurate and precise. Many people believe that they would be able to remember anything from the event and the different features of the situation. Yet, people don’t realize the fact that the more you think about a situation the more likely the story will change. Our memories are not a camcorder or a camera. Our memory tends to be very selective and reconstructive.
Atkinson, R.C. & Shiffrin, R.M. (1968). Human memory: A proposed system and its control process.
Bartlett’s “War of the Ghosts” experiment (1932) is a classic example of false memories. The results of his study found participants would unintentionally alter the information of a story they read in a way that was more reflective of their own lives. Otagaar, et.al. (2013) examined false memories by developing non-believed memories in adults and children about taking a ride in a hot air balloon. The results of this study found that when the participants were asked immediately after reading a passage about this memory, most did not recall going on a hot air balloon. However, when the participants were called back a few months later, a higher percentage of participants recalled having experienc...