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Psychology research into memory

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Introduction

Memory is involved in all aspects of our lives and can be thought of as, retain information. We have vast amounts of knowledge stored in our memory system, which we are able to access quickly and effortlessly, thus implying that stored knowledge must be highly organised to allow us to retrieve the appropriate information for a given situation. This organisation will be determined by the way that information is encoded into memory, and the way knowledge is organised will determine the type of process required to access that information on a future occasion. Loftus and palmer research into memory has extensively helped out understanding of eyewitness testimony. Loftus and Palmer investigated the accuracy of speed estimates and the perceived consequences of a car crash after subjects had been asked leading questions. ...read more.

Middle

This shows that leading questions can again influence the content of memory. Thus memories are not fixed but can be changed by external influences. There are implication of this study, which is clearly demonstrated for any organisation, which relies on eyewitness testimony. This could include the courts, police and other legal authorities. The study also demonstrates how memories of an event could be distorted or altered by leading questions. Thus if a questioner is interested in obtaining an accurate recollection of an event, they must be very careful about their choice of verbs and the type of questions asked. Equally people who are seeking to gain advantage by altering memory could use leading questions to alter a witness's testimony. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is a chance that the subjects may have guessed the purpose of the experiment and behaved in the way the experimenters expected (experimental demand) Did L + P control exact ways in which the verbs were heard, was extra emphasis given to 'smashed?' It is also possible to interpret the results of the Loftus and palmer study in terms of Bartlett's theory. Bartlett described memory as an 'elaborative reconstruction of experience' i.e. when remembering the details of an event we tend to alter (reconstruct) them. This has happened in the Loftus study. The original memory trace has been altered to incorporate the new information about speed of the vehicle. Subjects have used their past knowledge (schema) of serious car accidents to help them to decide whether or not there was any broken glass. By VIMALA RAMLINGUM ...read more.

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