6 Apr 2011
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Emotional Memory: The Good, the Bad and the Dangerous - Oct 13, 2009
The Good: Flashbulb Memory
๎€Highly vivid memory for intensely emotionally engaging event
oRichly detailed and very complete, accurate, immune to forgetting
๎€Includes vivid detailed info for even, context in which it occurred (Who, where, whenโ€ฆ)
๎€How to test: words/pictures
๎€Emotions enhance memory with increased attention and rehearsal, special neural
mechanisms (amygdala and hippocampus)
๎€Generally, neural structures responsible for emotion regulate behavior (eg Kluver-Bucy
Syndrome)
๎€Immediate: helps rev up for fight-or-flight and recognize emotional cues in env (eg autism)
๎€Long-term: helps remember info important for survival and reproduction
The Bad: Flashbulb Memory
๎€54 students about 9/11; follow up at 7, 42, 224 days, recall events and details, memories on
scale of vividness/confidence, compare emotional vs neutral memories changing over time,
emotional memories more accurate and detailed, remain strong after time
๎€Memories could feel real but not necessarily accurate
The Dangerous
๎€Highly vivid, believe they are true, but can be wrong/entirely wrong
๎€Eyewitness testimony (uncertainty at lineup, but months later at trial, certainty)
๎€Memory not static; organic, change, knowledge about them not reflective for what they are
๎€Most common reasons for wrongful convictions: mistaken ID based on eyewitness
๎€Reasons for poor eyewitness testimony:
oPoor View, donโ€™t know the Significance at the time, Elapsed Time โ€“ Forgetting,
Changes in Appearance, (in groups, expect others to act; feel need to pick even if
criminal is not present)
oEffects of Expectations: expectations/stegma for actions, can take on prejudice
๎€ex. People shot while holding remote, hair clip, spatula, wallet, thinking itโ€™s
gun (black)
oArousal โ€“ Weapon Focus Effect
๎€Assumption: when in emotional situation, more likely to remember details
๎€When emotionally arousing item present, people focus on it and fail to attend
to other details surrounding it
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Document Summary

Emotional memory: the good, the bad and the dangerous - oct 13, 2009. highly vivid memory for intensely emotionally engaging event: richly detailed and very complete, accurate, immune to forgetting. Includes vivid detailed info for even, context in which it occurred (who, where, when ) emotions enhance memory with increased attention and rehearsal, special neural mechanisms (amygdala and hippocampus) generally, neural structures responsible for emotion regulate behavior (eg kluver-bucy. Immediate: helps rev up for fight-or-flight and recognize emotional cues in env (eg autism) Long-term: helps remember info important for survival and reproduction. 54 students about 9/11; follow up at 7, 42, 224 days, recall events and details, memories on scale of vividness/confidence, compare emotional vs neutral memories changing over time, emotional memories more accurate and detailed, remain strong after time. memories could feel real but not necessarily accurate. highly vivid, believe they are t rue, but can be wrong/entirely wrong.

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