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The Reliability of Memory. Theories of Freud, Bartlett and Loftus.

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Introduction

´╗┐MEMORY RELIABILITY Memory is a mental process that allows humans to store information so that information is not lost but remains preserved and can be present to be remembered, it also enables us to learn and makes possible for humanity to move forward. Our entire civilization has been constructed upon memory, but how reliable memory really is? Before psychology ever existed and psychologists began trying to understand the mysteries no person had questioned the possibility of its errors. Freud was a pioneer in studying affectations in memory; he was particularly interested in analyzing the reasons that cause some things to be forgotten. ...read more.

Middle

Two other researchers tried experiments on memory. The fist, Frederic Bartlett argued that memory is reconstructive and that previous knowledge influences what is recalled. He conducted an experiment based on serial reproduction in which he presented a Native American story for a student population. The participants repeated the story and then the repletion of the story and so on. The final result showed that the story became shorter with each repetition, it remained coherent and it became more conventional retaining details common in the lives of the participants. ...read more.

Conclusion

The results showed that language also has great influence in memory. In regard of Loftus? ideas about witnesses being incredible unreliability there are several scientists who disagree. Yuille and Cutshall have criticized Loftus? research for lack of ecological validity since the experiment did not reflected how and what people remembered in real life. They sustained that in a real life situation witnesses tend to remember particularly accurate. Besides Loftus? investigation had several cultural biases. In the end memory can be as unreliable as it may but humanity cannot survive without memory. ...read more.

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