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Discuss the roles of emotional factors in memory

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Introduction

Discuss Roles of Emotional Factors in Memory Psychologists think that emotion affects some factors in memory. There are many types of memory that we could look at to prove that emotion affects memory. Flashbulb memories are the first that we could look at. A flashbulb memory is a memory which is improved by emotional factors. These are often quite vivid in your memory, and incredibly detailed in comparison to your other memories. These are also long-lasting, and they can be recalled easily because the event is highly significant and they occur in times of worldwide shock, for instance, the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers and the World Trade Centre. Brown and Kulik said in 1977 that the event must be special and surprising for it to become a flashbulb memory, and that that is the reason why they become imprinted in the memory. They also say that it is common for people with flashbulb memories to remember where they were, who they were with, what they were doing, even what they were wearing at the time. ...read more.

Middle

and true memories from something which the participants had seen on television or read about in the newspaper, therefore it is reliable. However it still was not entirely relevant to everyone and not everyone has access to news so a lot of people may have had more exposure to the story of the American shuttle than others, so their view would be biased. Yet Conway still rejected this idea, claiming that this did not fit into the of flashbulb memories. Another category of memory which is affected by emotion is named repression. Repression is defined by Freud as an unconscious process which keeps baleful or worrying memories from conscious awareness. Some may theorize that these memories may be recovered via therapy or analysing dreams in the psycho-analytical way. There is an argument that repressed memories, when recovered, are often false and can be a distorted image of what actually happened. Freud validated his idea by treating patients with Neurotic disorders of which he gave examples. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, this experiment was also lab-based and not used in a situation which would be found in everyday life. Therefore the participants could have different outcomes to what they would have had if they were in a different situation. Another study which contradicts Levinger and Clarke's study is the Holmes study from 1990, which concluded that there is no valid and convincing experimental support for repression which would cause forgetting. However Holmes's overview was just a view over a few experiments, and he could not have possibly looked at all the outcomes of repression and forgetting, and he carried out no experiment himself. Emotional factors are obviously very prominent in the way that we remember or indeed forget things in our memory, but repression and flashbulb memories are both ambiguous subjects which can not be proved in their entirety in how they effect memory. There is a significant lack of criticisms in both repression and flashbulb memories, which makes it hard for us to make a complete decision on whether one is more important than the other. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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