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Discuss the role of emotional factors in memory.

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Introduction

Discuss the role of emotional factors in memory. Flashbulb memory is a vivid, long-lasting memory of a highly significant event accompanied by recollection of details such as where we heard the news and what we were doing at the time. Flashbulb memory can be a personal event or something which provokes wide world interest, e.g. the death of princess Diana. These memories from flashbulb memory are perceived to have a "photographic" quality. Repression is a defence mechanism, which we call the unconscious process. There are two types of flashbulb memory special and not special. The special memories tend to be on our own experiences and the not special are memories that are not convincing This is a distressing memory or impulse is excluded from the conscious awareness and its also a theory of forgetting. It is often claimed that traumatic events are repressed, yet it appears that the trauma more often strengthens memories due to the heightened emotional or physical feelings. ...read more.

Middle

This experiment was compared with only 29% of non-British students. Conway claimed that this particular event met the criteria for a flashbulb memory for British people: somewhat unforeseen, highly significant and arousing deep emotions. Conway criticized such studies by pointing out that a certain event did not meet the criteria of the flashbulb memory. He believes that it was neither unexpected nor likely to have an immediate consequence for the students concern from his own study. McCloskey done a test to find the accuracy of flashbulb memory. He interviewed people a few days after the explosion of the American space shuttle challenger in 1986 about their memories surrounding the event, then the same people were re-interviewed again nine months later. From this investigation McCloskey found that there were inaccuracies in the memories and there were discrepancies between what was recalled shortly after the accident and what was recalled nine months later. From this he concluded that the so-called flashbulb memories are subject to the same types of inaccuracy and forgetting as other memories, therefore flashbulb memories are not special but are products of ordinary memory mechanisms. ...read more.

Conclusion

Bradley and Baddeley ran a similar experiment using 32 student participants and found that when the words were recalled after 28 days, the emotional associations were better recalled than the neutral associations. This does not support the idea that repression hypothesis since therefore the emotional words actually became more memorable over time. Some research has been focused on repressed memories in child sexual abuse. The contentious resolves around the issue whether there recovered memories are genuine. The only problem with establishing the validity of these claims is that there normally no independent, objective to confirm this evidence. William investigated into the research of child abuse. He found that 38% of a group of African-American women who were known to have suffered some sexual abuse during there childhood, reported repressed memories of abuse. However, it also seems clear that some of these so-called repressed memories are false memories. The criticisms from this experiment was that it was biased, only selected poor women and chose African-American women. It was possible that they didn't want to tell the interviewers about the abuse. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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