PSYC 1200 Lecture 5c
Chapter 7: Sources of Accuracy and Error in Remembering
Memory The processes that allow for retention of learning experiences and the use of those experiences for remembering, thinking & doing.
Memory is probably where the sense of “self” comes from.
Remembering is not like playing a video tape; instead, it is more like guessing and telling a story in the moment, which can differ
from the original event it is based on.
Bartlett (1932) Had people read stories and later had them try to recall the stories word for word.
People’s recall of stories were riddled with error, but the errors were informative about how remembering works.
Types of Remembering Errors:
Additions of details not in the original story but, when included, made the events in the story more coherent.
Addition of details that made the story relate better to the participants own life experience.
Omission of details in the story that was not particularly relevant to the stories theme.
People’s guesses about what probably happened are guided by general knowledge about the world (schemas).
Brown and Kulik (1977) Associated with flashbulb memories: are there events that are so dramatic and emotional that they are remembered with perfect
Neisser & Harsch Studied flashbulb memories by interviewing university students after Explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger about where they
(1992) were and what they were doing.
When asked 3 years later: 33% were completely wrong and 0% was completely accurate.
Almost everyone thought their memory was perfectly accurate.
Problems With The Other Race Effect: eyewitnesses can make errors in assigning guilt for a crime because of problems distinguishing members
Eyewitness Testimony of another ethnic group.
Misleading Post-Event Information: questions after witnessing an event can distort memory for the original event.
Source Monitoring Errors: people may attribute their memory for some object or event to the incorrect source. Occurs when an
eyewitness identifies an innocent bystander as having committed the crime.
Loftus & Palmer (1974) Studied the effect of post-event information by presenting people with a film depicting a car accident:
One group was asked “How fast were the cars going when they contacted each other?” On average, people say “51.2
A different group was asked “How fast were the cars going when they smashed into each other?”