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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 Dept. of Communication Faculty of Humanities Aalborg University Denmark

2 SARMAC VI 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 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 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 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 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 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. FD ns OD N=82MSDDiff. from North North South t(81)=4.416*** Coll t(81)=5.263***

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

9 SARMAC VI Correlates of North Confidence (N varies)Study1Study 2 ImageryVisual image clarity (delayed) Vividness (Sept ).144 na Vividness (delayed) 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 ) na Emotionality (delayed) Surprise (Sept ) na Surprise (delayed) Consequentiality (Sept ) -.228* na Consequentiality (delayed) Rehearsal (Sept ).062 na Rehearsal (delayed)

10 SARMAC VI 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 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/2539750/8/slides/slide_10.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 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 Study 3  Collective memory condensed: DR-TV’s summary 11/  ”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

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

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

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

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

19 SARMAC VI 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 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 smidt ud

23 SARMAC VI General discussion and conclusion

24 SARMAC VI 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 First impact

26 SARMAC VI

27 SARMAC VI

28 SARMAC VI

29 SARMAC VI

30 SARMAC VI

31 SARMAC VI Conclusion

32 SARMAC VI

33 SARMAC VI 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 FD OD  But OD-comments (p. 7)

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

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

38 SARMAC VI 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 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 The error Prevalence  89% gave North Tower time on 11/  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 FD OD Confidence Konfidensdimsen dur ej pga. rettede data.

41 SARMAC VI Sequences NType N { "@context": "http://schema.org", "@type": "ImageObject", "contentUrl": "http://images.slideplayer.com/2539750/8/slides/slide_40.jpg", "name": "SARMAC VI 200541 Sequences NType N

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

45 SARMAC VI study 2

46 SARMAC VI Results  Footage errors and confidence

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

48 SARMAC VI Results  Confidence  Confidence relateret til?

49 SARMAC VI study 1 & 2

50 SARMAC VI 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 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 North South Collapse  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 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 relativ konfidens og konk

54 SARMAC VI Relative confidence Study 1 N = 82MSDt South Confidence t(81)=4.416 *** North Confidence t(81)=5.263 *** Collapse Confidence Study 2 N = 67MSDt South Confidence t(65)=2.754 ** North Confidence t(65)=4.224 *** Collapse Confidence

55 SARMAC VI Relative confidence Study 1 N = 82MSDDifference South Confidence t(81)=4.416 *** North Confidence t(81)=5.263 *** Collapse Confidence Study 2 N = 67MSDt South Confidence t(65)=2.754 ** North Confidence t(65)=4.224 *** Collapse Confidence

56 SARMAC VI 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 North South Collapse  t(84)=4.685**  t(84)=5.649**

57 SARMAC VI study 3

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

60 SARMAC VI 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 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 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 FD OD St. 2NMSD FD OD

63 SARMAC VI 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 Correlates of North Time Confidence (N varies)Study1Study 2 Imagery?Visual image clarity (delayed) Vividness, reception (Sept ).144 na Vividness, reception (delayed) 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 ) na Emotional intensity (delayed) Surprise (Sept ) na Surprise (delayed) Pers. consequent. (Sept ) -.228* na Pers. consequentiality (delayed) Flashbulb variables, ’ecological’? Rehearsal (covert) (delayed) Reception distinct. (Sept ) -.273* na Reception distinctivity (delayed) *

65 SARMAC VI Relative confidence MSDDifferent from North C. Study 1 (N=82) North Confidence South Confidence t(81)=4.416 *** Collapse Confidence t(81)=5.263 *** Study 2 (N=67) North Confidence South Confidence t(65)=2.754 ** Collapse Confidence t(65)=4.224 ***


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