Presentation on theme: "Memory Errors, Memory Gaps Reasons why we remember so much and so little at the same time..."— Presentation transcript:
Memory Errors, Memory Gaps Reasons why we remember so much and so little at the same time...
Memory and its failures Why do memory errors happen? -Semantic activation -Inferences - Schemas -Update of memory Memory errors & everyday life - In the court -In therapy -In important events of your life
Semantic Activation Example: –You will hear a list of words, once the list ends, recall as many words as possible –Bed, Rest, Awake, Snooze, Tired, Dream, Blanket, Doze, Slumber, Snore, Nap, Yawn, Drowsy –Missing word: ‘sleep’
Inference in Recognition Memory John was trying to fix the bird house. He was pounding the nail when his father came out to watch him and to help him do the work. Recognition test: “John was using the hammer to fix the bird house when his father came out to watch him and to help him do the work.” John was trying to fix the bird house. He was looking for the nail when his father came out to watch him and to help him do the work. with the hammer
Schema (script): A high-level representation of knowledge about familiar situations. Schemata help us to deal with the world efficiently by representing those aspects of our experience that are usually the same from one time to another…
Event Schema (script): Going to a restaurant Enter –Walk into restaurant –Look for table –Decide where to sit –Go to table –Sit down Order –Get menu –Choose food –Waiter arrives –Give orders to waiter –Wait, talk –Cook prepares food Eat –Cook gives food to waiter –Waiter delivers food –Eat –Talk Leave –Waiter delivers bill –Examine bill –Calculate tip –Leave tip –Get belongings –Pay bill –Leave restaurant
Memory Update: Misinformation Effect See event: film of two-car accident Receive misinformation –When the cars smashed each other, –When the cars hit each other, Memory test: the speed was … –a) “smashed” (41 mph) –b) “hit”(34 mph) Is this a ‘memory’ distortion, or a report bias ? A week later: Did you see broken glass? (correct answer: no) a) “smashed”: 32% yes b) ‘hit’: 14% yes (Elizabeth Loftus) (Loftus & Palmer, 1974)
Relevance to Criminal Justice System most obvious case –crime --> study –picture of suspect --> misinformation –Lineup --> test Eyewitness may recognize suspect from police display, not from crime scene. Conclusions: –Do not let potential witnesses see suspects. –Interrogate without asking leading questions (Capturing the Freedmans) Further sources of error: –newspaper stories, etc.
Memory Contamination & Psychotherapy Therapist repeatedly asks child about abuse at day care center. Eventually, child “remembers” abuse. Therapist repeatedly asks woman about childhood abuse. Eventually, woman “recovers repressed memory” of abuse. Are these repressed memories or false memories? Big debate! (Loftus vs. Freyd)
Autobiographical flashbulb memory A type of episodic memory Memory for personal experiences Components Imagery (e.g., visual imagery) Lots of detail (flashbulb memory: where were you on 9/11?) High confidence in its accuracy (even if it is wrong!) Emotion It has a narrative (it tells a story), thus It is constructive –is biased by goals at the time of retrieval
Memory memory illusion - a false but convincing memory (false memory task, 1 st day of class) Memory is reconstructive - we extract the gist to make things easier to remember (but this may contribute to memory errors)