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Lecture 5

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Carolyn Ensley

Confabulation:  Confusion of an event that happened to someone else with one that happened to you  Belief that you remember something when it never actually happened  False memories can be as stable over time as true ones  Clicker questions:  Which is most likely to be a flashbulb memory?  Memory of a natural disaster that happened in your lifetime.  Suppose two cars collided, which implies that one was speeding?  Where were you when the cars smashed into one another?  Where were you when the accident occurred?  Which of these could be a leading question?  Did you see the broken headlight?  Did you see a broken headlight?  Which question may be best to start an interview with a child if there is a suspicion of molestation?  Tell me why you are here to talk to me today  Which is an example of explicit memory?  Recalling that Skinner was a founder of Behaviourism  Which is an example of implicit memory?  Getting on a bike and being able to ride.  Conditions of confabulation  Confabulation is most likely when:  You have thought, heard, or told others about the imagined event often (imagination inflation)  The image of the event contains lots of details that make it feel real  The event is easy to imagine  A Case of Confabulation  Airplane crashed in the Netherlands  Hit a major city  There was no video/photos  About 66% of people surveyed a year later "remember seeing the crash on the news"  Easy to imagine because they have seen other crashes  President Bush Confabulates 9/11  President Bush "recalled" seeing the first plane hit while in his limo  Can't have was in class 10 minutes prior to 10 min after  Conspiracy theorists say this "proves" huge conspiracy 9/11  What this proves is that even the president is subject to the problem of confabulation  Memory and Suggestion  Eyewitness testimony is important, but not always reliable…  E.g., case of Thomas Sophonow  Twice convicted on eyewitness testimony in the 1980's  Acquitted because of DNA evidence in 2000  Factors that influence eyewitness accuracy:  Cross-race identification, the wording of questions, leading questions, misinformation, suggestive comments  Children's Testimony  Can children be accurate eyewitness?  Yes, but influenced by same factors as adults, especially repeated and suggestive questioning  May lead them to say and come to recall events that never happened  E.g., Canadian case in Martensville, Saskatchewan 1992  Example of Leading Question in Child Molestation Investigation  Child may be asked in such a way that assumes a "yes" answer  e.g. "show me where he touched you" vs "did he touch you"  Child may be told OTHER children said it happened;
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