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The almost unanimous false memory of the first World Trade Center impact Tia G. B. Hansen Dept. of Communication Faculty of Humanities Aalborg.

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Presentation on theme: "The almost unanimous false memory of the first World Trade Center impact Tia G. B. Hansen Dept. of Communication Faculty of Humanities Aalborg."— Presentation transcript:

1 The almost unanimous false memory of the first World Trade Center impact Tia G. B. Hansen tia@hum.aau.dk Dept. of Communication Faculty of Humanities Aalborg University Denmark

2 SARMAC VI 20052 Introduction  Footage of first impact was not published the first day (Pezdek, 2003)  But many claim to have seen  Greenberg (2004): Bush 2 out of 3 times  Pezdek (2003): Avr. 73% Americans

3 SARMAC VI 20053 How come  Not unprecedented  Crombag et al. (1996): El Al, 55-66%  Ost et al. (2002): Diana, 20 of 45 queried  WTC impact1 differs  Footage later  Ideas of how (mainly cf. Greenberg, 2004)  Imagery  Narrative  Post-event information  Benigning  Hesitates  Maligning  Access to aids

4 SARMAC VI 20054 Present studies 1.Prevalence and patterns in a non-US sample 2.Replication (partly) 3.Collective memory examplified Method  Study 1  Re-test part of FBM study (1 day-9 months)  100 non-psych. students (65% female)  Study 2  Similar questionnaire once only (12 months)  84 psych. students (71% female)

5 SARMAC VI 20055 Event structure and visual media First, the North Tower of WTC was hit. It could have been an accident. When the South Tower was hit as well, it became obvious that it was on purpose (terrorism). Later, the collapse of the towers greatly extended the catastrophy. There is much to suggest that visual images have a special effect. Thus, I should like to know when you first saw footage of these turning points. Saw the North Tower get hit: Same day at ___ o'clock or the day after at ___ o'clock or __ days after. How sure are you about that (1-7; 1=pure guess, 7=absolutely certain) Saw the South Tower get hit: Same day at ___ o'clock or the day after at ___ o'clock or __ days after. How sure are you about that (1-7; 1=pure guess, 7=absolutely certain) Saw a tower collapse: Same day at ___ o'clock or the day after at ___ o'clock or __ days after. How sure are you about that (1-7; 1=pure guess, 7=absolutely certain)

6 SARMAC VI 20056 Prevalence Study 1 (N=100)  90% gave First-Day North time  Of the remaining 10:  2 commented  4 others corrected Study 2 (N=84)  86% gave First-Day North time  Of the remaining 12 (14%):  6+ were trekking etc…

7 SARMAC VI 20057 Confidence Study 1  First-Day vs Other-Day answers: not less confident Study 1, FD’s only  North vs other turning- points: higher confidence Study 2 ditto  Mean FD=5.0; OD=4.0 Study 2 ditto  Mean North=4.9; South=4.5; Collapse=4.2 NMSDDiff. FD885.31.533 ns OD54.02.345 N=82MSDDiff. from North North5.31.493 South4.91.679t(81)=4.416*** Coll.4.51.723t(81)=5.263***

8 SARMAC VI 20058 Patterns?  First-Day cases retained for further analysis  For these,  reality cannot produce North confidence  so what might?

9 SARMAC VI 20059 Correlates of North Confidence (N varies)Study1Study 2 ImageryVisual image clarity (delayed).197 -.119 Vividness (Sept 12 2001).144 na Vividness (delayed).197.105 Confidence in other answers South (delayed).859**.803** Collapse (delayed).633**.710** Source (delayed).257* na Activity (delayed).172 na Location (delayed).199 na Flashbulb variables Emotionality (Sept 12 2001) -.021 na Emotionality (delayed).178.068 Surprise (Sept 12 2001) -.117 na Surprise (delayed).198.019 Consequentiality (Sept 12 2001) -.228* na Consequentiality (delayed) -.037 -.062 Rehearsal (Sept 12 2001).062 na Rehearsal (delayed).170.024

10 SARMAC VI 200510 North Confidence contributors Study 2  Signicant model by SC x CC accounts for 65%  SC contributes 33%, CC ns Study 1  SC x CC x source confidence x consequentiality  Adj. R 2 =.733  F 4,76 =55.955, p<.001  SC contributes 51%, Source confidence 6%, rest are ns

11 SARMAC VI 200511 Estimate types  13 possible sequences  3 account for 90% of cases in study 1 (N=83)  Ditto study 2 (93%, N=67) SequencesStudy 1Study 2Type N { "@context": "http://schema.org", "@type": "ImageObject", "contentUrl": "http://images.slideplayer.com/8/2539750/slides/slide_11.jpg", "name": "SARMAC VI 200511 Estimate types  13 possible sequences  3 account for 90% of cases in study 1 (N=83)  Ditto study 2 (93%, N=67) SequencesStudy 1Study 2Type N

12 SARMAC VI 200512 Summarizing  The error is close to unanimous  The (nessessarily wrong) North time is held with more confidence than the (possibly correct) South and Collapse times  Nevertheless, North time seems to parasitize other answers, in particular South time  Pattern of confidence suggest that much North confidence derives from confidence in other parts of the memory  Pattern of estimates suggest that North time is rarely assessed by individual recollection of that specific episode component  Memory problem or lack of specific categorisation?

13 SARMAC VI 200513 Study 3  Collective memory condensed: DR-TV’s summary 11/9 2003  ”De frygtelige timer i New York” (The terrifying hours in New York)  © DR (Danmarks Radio)  Used at SARMAC VI with permission  Translations by me  Pretty English sacrificed for synchronicity and brevity

14 SARMAC VI 200514

15 SARMAC VI 200515 Analysis  Like President Bush, journalists have access to memory aids  Nevertheless

16 SARMAC VI 200516 Error 1  The second plane is (also) reported to hit the northern tower

17 SARMAC VI 200517 Error 2  This footage is from a later speech

18 SARMAC VI 200518 Error 3  This is the North Tower collapsing

19 SARMAC VI 200519 Discussion  Interpretations other than ’memory error’ are possible  Speech error + editing demands  However  Indistinct North-South categories enhance risk of errors 1 and 3  Compatible observations from other programmes  For us, this is the available information

20 SARMAC VI 200520 Discussion & conclusion  Components’ reception not represented individually  Imagery not required  Post-event inclusion, or a South clip mistaken for North Conclusion  The assumption of having seen impact1 on the first day is very frequent and confidently held  A mistake afforded by:  insufficient specificity of categories  inadvertent misinformation by media  normal news processing  Confidence veridicality problem remains

21 Acknowledgements  Intellectual input  Dan Greenberg  ROCOCO group (Aarhus Uni)  CPU and MÆRKK groups (Aalborg Uni)  Technical assistance  Keld Ringgaard, Lea Skov Treebak, Per Mouritzen  Travel grant  Obel Foundation

22 SARMAC VI 200522 smidt ud

23 SARMAC VI 200523 General discussion and conclusion

24 SARMAC VI 200524 Conclusion  The claim to have seen impact1 on the first day is very frequent and confidently held  This mistake seems seems afforded by:  insufficient specificity of categories  inadvertent misinformation by media  Grasping for meaning, sacrisficing details  Two general theoretical perspectives  Recollection vs. temporality vs. judgment  News reception vs. natural cross-modal synchronicity

25 SARMAC VI 200525 First impact

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31 SARMAC VI 200531 Conclusion

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33 SARMAC VI 200533 Study 1  First-day-group (N=90) and other-day-group (N=5) reported equal  vividness  confidence  emotionality  rehearsal, etc.  when providing the estimate  as well as 12/9-01  Closest candidate for a difference:  Confidence in North Tower impact time  t(91)=1.84; p<.069 NMSD FD895.21.5 OD43.82.6  But OD-comments (p. 7)

34 SARMAC VI 200534 Results  Alle tager fejl - figur eller tabel

35 SARMAC VI 200535 Intro / theory  Greenberg (2004): Bush 2 out of 3  Pezdek (2003): 73%  Crombag et al. (1996): El Al, 55-66%  Ost et al. (2002): Diana, 20 of 45 asked  Imagery  Narrative  Source monitoring errors and failures

36 SARMAC VI 200536 How come  Not unprecedented  Crombag et al. (1996): El Al, 55-66%  Ost et al. (2002): Diana, 20 of 45 asked  WTC impact1 differs  Souce monitoring error but not reality monitoring error  Ideas of why (mainly cf. Greenberg, 2004)  Imagery  Narrative  Post-event information

37 SARMAC VI 200537 Intro / theory  Greenberg (2004): Bush 2 out of 3  Pezdek (2003): 73%  Imagery  Narrative  Post-event information

38 SARMAC VI 200538 Study 1 & 2  Study 1  Re-test of FBM study  (1 day-9 mts)  100 non-psych. students  (65% female)  Study 2  Once only  (12 mts)  84 psych. students  (x % female)  Questions:  Error frequency and confidence?  Patterns?  Method :  Subset of flashbulb memory questionnaire

39 SARMAC VI 200539 Study 1  Questions:  How prevalent in a foreign (to US) sample?  Hints of why:  Follow the narrative?  High imagery?  Method:  Incl. in flashbulb study re-test after 9 mts  Original questionnaire was within 24 hours  100 non-psych. students (65% female)

40 SARMAC VI 200540 The error Prevalence  89% gave North Tower time on 11/9 2001  Of the remaining 11:  2 commented (missing)  1 described (missing)  4 corrected (3 OD)  Thus: Almost unanimous  t(91)=1.84; p=.069  But cf. OD-correcters NMSD FD895.21.5 OD43.82.6 Confidence Konfidensdimsen dur ej pga. rettede data.

41 SARMAC VI 200541 Sequences NType N { "@context": "http://schema.org", "@type": "ImageObject", "contentUrl": "http://images.slideplayer.com/8/2539750/slides/slide_41.jpg", "name": "SARMAC VI 200541 Sequences NType N

42 SARMAC VI 200542  man kunne sætte korrelationen med syd og kollaps her  husk også at bemærke, at de 33% narrativ jo ikke er meget, givet min madding Anatomy of the erroneous answers – answer types

43 SARMAC VI 200543 Study 2  Aim:  Replication  (Partly: early variables not available)  Method:  Delay 12 months  Footage questions from study 1  Embedded in questionnaire almost similar to re-test questionnaire in study 1  84 psych. students (71% female)

44 SARMAC VI 200544 The error Prevalence  86% reported seing North Tower impact on 11/9 2001  90% in study 1  t(77)=2.03; p<.05  FD > OD ns in study 1 NMSD FD715.01.8 OD83.62.2 Confidence

45 SARMAC VI 200545 study 2

46 SARMAC VI 200546 Results  Footage errors and confidence

47 SARMAC VI 200547 Hypothesis  Stong confidence is related to …?

48 SARMAC VI 200548 Results  Confidence  Confidence relateret til?

49 SARMAC VI 200549 study 1 & 2

50 SARMAC VI 200550 North Confidence Contributors Study 1  Regression analysis SC x CC x source confidence x pers. conseq. x reception distinct.  Adj. R 2 =.737; F 5,74 =45.202, p<.001  SC contributes 50%, Source confidence 7 %, rest are ns. Study 2  Signicant model by SC x CC accounts for 65,2%. SC contributes 33%, CC ns.

51 SARMAC VI 200551 Further analysis of errors Relative confidence  Hvordan kan her være 85 når der kun var 83 før?!  Thus,  pts. are more confident in their (erroneous) time given for their first seeing the North Tower impact  than for their (possibly correct) times given for first seeing the other two turning point. r (N=85)SouthCollaps North.854**.633** (N=85)MSD North5.291.487 South4.851.687 Collapse4.421.775  t(84)=4.685**  t(84)=5.649** Tia Hansen: men dette gør jo typeopdelingen overflødig, for hvordan skulle den kunne redegøre for dette? Skal denne slide gemmes til efter typeanalyser? Tia Hansen: men dette gør jo typeopdelingen overflødig, for hvordan skulle den kunne redegøre for dette? Skal denne slide gemmes til efter typeanalyser?

52 SARMAC VI 200552 estimattyper, konfidens og korrelater  Study 1  Mean NC does no differ between the three estimate types  SC x source conf (hvad predikerer de to tilsammen?) x CC (og de tre?) predikerer næsten det hele af same og same/narrativ, men kun ¼ af narrativ.  Study 2

53 SARMAC VI 200553 relativ konfidens og konk

54 SARMAC VI 200554 Relative confidence Study 1 N = 82MSDt South Confidence4.851.679 t(81)=4.416 *** North Confidence5.281.493 t(81)=5.263 *** Collapse Confidence4.501.723 Study 2 N = 67MSDt South Confidence4.531.863 t(65)=2.754 ** North Confidence4.921.842 t(65)=4.224 *** Collapse Confidence4.151.994

55 SARMAC VI 200555 Relative confidence Study 1 N = 82MSDDifference South Confidence4.851.679 t(81)=4.416 *** North Confidence5.281.493 t(81)=5.263 *** Collapse Confidence4.501.723 Study 2 N = 67MSDt South Confidence4.531.863 t(65)=2.754 ** North Confidence4.921.842 t(65)=4.224 *** Collapse Confidence4.151.994

56 SARMAC VI 200556 Further analysis of errors Relative confidence  Hvordan kan her være 85 når der kun var 83 før?!  Thus,  pts. are more confident in their (erroneous) time given for their first seeing the North Tower impact  than for their (possibly correct) times given for first seeing the other two turning point. r (N=85)SouthCollaps North.854**.633** (N=85)MSD North5.291.487 South4.851.687 Collapse4.421.775  t(84)=4.685**  t(84)=5.649**

57 SARMAC VI 200557 study 3

58 SARMAC VI 200558 How come  Not unprecedented  Crombag et al. (1996): El Al, 55-66%  Ost et al. (2002): Diana, 20 of 45 queried  Likely reasons  Imagery  Narrative  WTC impact1 differs  Footage later  additional possible reason: Post-event information  Greenberg observes:  Benigning: Hesitates  Maligning: Access to aids

59 SARMAC VI 200559 Present study 1.Prevalence and patterns in a non-US sample 2.Replication (partly) 3.Collective memory examplified

60 SARMAC VI 200560 Study 1 & 2 Method  Subset of flashbulb memory questionnaire  Study 1  Re-test part of FBM study (1 day-9 months)  100 non-psych. students (65% female)  Study 2  Similar questionnaire once only (12 months)  84 psych. students (71% female)

61 SARMAC VI 200561 Confidence First-Day vs Other-Day estimates NMSDDifference between groups Study 1First-Day885.3t(91)=1.723, ns Other-Day54.0 Study 2First-Day715.0t(78)=1.558, ns Other-Day94.0 North confidence vs South and Collapse confidence NMSDDifferent from North Study 1North South Collapse Study 2North South Collapse

62 SARMAC VI 200562 Confidence Study 1  11/9 estimates seem more confident than Other-Day estimates, but  t(91) = 1.723, ns Study 2  Ditto  t(78) = 1.558, ns St. 1NMSD FD885.31.5 OD54.02.3 St. 2NMSD FD715.01.9 OD94.02.3

63 SARMAC VI 200563 North Confidence contributors Study 2  Signicant model by SC x CC accounts for 65%  SC contributes 33%, CC ns Study 1  SC x CC x source confidence x consequentiality  Adj. R 2 =.729  F 4,79 =56.949, p<.001  SC contributes 55%, Source confidence 6%, rest are ns

64 SARMAC VI 200564 Correlates of North Time Confidence (N varies)Study1Study 2 Imagery?Visual image clarity (delayed).197 -.119 Vividness, reception (Sept 12 2001).144 na Vividness, reception (delayed).197.105 Confidence in other answers? Source (delayed).257* na Activity (delayed).172 na Location (delayed).199 na South time (delayed).859**.803** Collapse time (delayed).633**.710** Flashbulb variables, traditional? Emotional intensity (Sept 12 2001) -.021 na Emotional intensity (delayed).178.068 Surprise (Sept 12 2001) -.117 na Surprise (delayed).198.019 Pers. consequent. (Sept 12 2001) -.228* na Pers. consequentiality (delayed) -.037 -.062 Flashbulb variables, ’ecological’? Rehearsal (covert) (delayed).170.024 Reception distinct. (Sept 12 2001) -.273* na Reception distinctivity (delayed) -.102.238*

65 SARMAC VI 200565 Relative confidence MSDDifferent from North C. Study 1 (N=82) North Confidence5.281.493 South Confidence4.851.679t(81)=4.416 *** Collapse Confidence4.501.723t(81)=5.263 *** Study 2 (N=67) North Confidence4.921.842 South Confidence4.531.863t(65)=2.754 ** Collapse Confidence4.151.994t(65)=4.224 ***


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