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Everyday Memory.docx

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PSYC 2650
Dan Meegan

Everyday Memory 10/22/2012 7:08:00 PM Everyday Memory  If X is an interesting or socially significant aspect of memory, then psychologists have hardly ever studied X. – Neisser (1978, coined term cognitive psychology) o Ecological validity  how well phenomenon demonstrates real world mechanisms  Around this time, some psychologists start to look at applied research methods  Sometimes connections tie into similar episodes  Sometimes the connections tie an episode to certain ideas o Not separate file for each memory, rather, density of connections ties memories together o Can sometimes forget which bits of information where involved in which episode Understanding and Memory:  Intrusion errors: errors in which other knowledge intrudes into the remembered event o Participants read either prologue and story or just story o Those who read prologue as well as story made four times as many intrusion errors List of words (Deese-Roediger-McDermott Proceedure)  People incorrectly recall “sweet” when writing down words  People incorrectly recognize “sweet”  High confidence for incorrect as correct (that sweet appeared on list)  Same results with clear warnings (even with vague warnings, trick still works)  DRM published in time when there was a lot of outside demand for knowledge on memory, courts wanting to know about post event information and repressed memories o Adult spontaneously remembers, quite vividly remembers sexual abuse as child for example o Controversial  how can someone all of a sudden remember this? Can we put someone in jail for a crime that happened years ago and the only evidence we have is someone’s repressed memory?  Does memory work this way?  Cannot reproduce this experience (unethical)  Limits in time (takes time eg. child  adult, RI)  Skeptics believed that these memories are false  Didn’t actually occur, can I come up with examples when people recall vivid memories that never happened?  Why DRM paper was so important especially when it came out  Scientists were looking for examples of false memories Schematic Knowledge  Intrusion errors coming from background knowledge we bring to situation  Generic knowledge: knowledge about how things unfold in general and knowledge about what is typical in a particular sort of setting (schema)  Schema tells you how things are normally supposed to happen  Evidence: o If there are things that you don’t notice while viewing a situation, your schema will fill in the gaps with what normally happens o Make the past more regular than it might have been o Bartlett studied individuals’ recall on Native American stories  Often “cleaned up story”, making it more coherent, more sensible than it first seemed o Brewer and Treyens  Asked to wait in room prior to experiment start  35 seconds later were pulled out of room and asked to describe room they were just in  Participant’s recollections of the office were plainly influenced by their prior knowledge about what academic offices looked like  Recall was in line with expectations but not with accuracy o Eye Witness Testimony:  How post-event information (e.g. misleading questions) can influence memory for a witnessed event o Police interrogation o Nature of questions asked can bias memory for witnessed event  Shown a series of slides depicting an automobile collision (event people would to have witnessed)  Then asked one of two questions (both asked to share what they saw) o How fast were the cars going when they hit each other? (34 mph) o How fast were the cars going when they smashed into each other? (41 mph)  Both saw exact same thing and in theory, asked exact same thing, simple manipulations can influence how you remember the event o 1 week later, asked neutrally, if they had seen any broken glass in the slides (answer: no)  “smashed” participants  32% said glass was visible  “hit” participants  14% said glass was visibile  Reliable but counterintuitive findings o Confidence is not a good predictor of accuracy  Jury more likely to believe confident witness, doesn’t mean confident witness is recalling exactly what happened  When we actually know what happened (experimental studies), we see that confidence does not have a reliable relationship with accuracy o Testimony contains (1) what was seen, and (2) provided post-event information  Can’t separate out what you actually witnessed and what was told to you (amnesia patients and seeing pictures during period of time memory was impaired  then form memories for those events)  Incorporate false suggestions into their memory for the event  misinformation effect o Testimony can be affected by wording of questions  Mood congruent memory: not in same state of mind when crime happened, harder to recall o Long RI increases forgetting o Is eyewitness testimony enough evidence to prove guilty beyond reasonable doubt?  False memories can be just as upsetting and emotional as memories for real events  A feeling of remembering is more likely with correct memories than false memories  Ecological validity o Limits to how far we can go in studying o Ethical reasons, cannot introduce fear into the mix  Often done through video  Are our findings reflect what happens in real life? Rewriting Memory  Eye witness observes a workman go into an office, steal some money, pick up his hammer and leave  Later, witness reads a printed account in which the workman picks up his wrench before leaving o Asked to recall memory: witness remembers wrench  Picture person holding wrench in minds eye o Some kind of deception  wouldn’t know purpose of experiment  Memory incomplete and inaccurate, someone tells you exactly what happens, can be nice to admit / change memory trace so that it is more accurate than before o Downside being that it works both ways, memory can also become less accurate Jury Instructions  Can jurors disregard presented information?  Wrench study o Subjects told to disregard written account  Can you separate out what you actually saw vs. what written account told you? o No effect on memory accuracy  Wrench has become part of the story now, hammer is “gone” or replaced by wrench in memory trace  Also shows that memory is good, only problem when info is inaccurate or info we aren’t supposed to use Childhood Amnesia: (Infantile Amnesia)  Autobiographical memory: memory each of us has containing the full recollection of our lives, plays central role in shaping how each of us thinks about ourselves and how we behave  Almost total lack of memories from first 5 years of life o Not all or none phenomenon  Why? o Decay?
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