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Is Human Memory For The Details Of Past Events Reliably Accurate?

1319 words - 6 pages

Human memory has been used by human as a tool to learn and think which includes social interactions, life management as well as problem solving (Loftus and Palmer 1974). Memory can be defined as the retention of information over time. Although memory is an instrument human use everyday, contemporary psychological scrutiny displayed that human memory is not a visionary reconstruction of earlier occasions making it less reliable compared to what an individual would alleged at the first place. In this paper it will be argued that human memory for past events are often influenced by other factors which can lead to inaccurate informations received. This argument is supported from studies made by ...view middle of the document...

From result obtained, the 2nd team reckons a greater acceleration estimates as well as that they reminisced seeing a fractured glass in the clip on average compared to the first team. Thus, they came to a conclusion that there is effect between the usage of words and estimation of acceleration as well as interpretation of the collision. The leading question with phrasing ‘smash’ recorded higher rates of student seeing fractured glass in the clip and greater estimation of the car speed. Loftus and Palmer (1974) explained that the usage of word ‘smash’ provides students with verbal details that triggers schemas for a severe accident. The research also shows that there is possibility of creating false memories and manipulate it using misleading information such as the format of a question after the event had occurred which then contributed to distortion of memory and produced wrong recall. This situation which is confusion between true and false memories also can be called as confabulation in psychological terms
The research itself has both strengths as well as weaknesses and is relevant. The study has made a vital contribution to our understanding of eye witness testimony (EWT) which has been applied greatly nowadays in the courtroom and also for the way in which the police question witnesses. The experiment also can be repeated and replicate easily as it is a laboratory experiment with strong scientific control and allows the effect and cause to be observed to an unbiased extent. However, the experiment also has its weaknesses. The study made by Loftus and Palmer has low ecological validity because the experiment is done in laboratory. Doing experiment on memory in the laboratory does not depict when and how ones memorize in real life. Incident that might need to be recalled in real life always take place unpredictably and in an ambience of pressure, for instance as in a court. It is impossible to rebuild such milieu in a laboratory, and there is possibility that eyewitnesses memorize true occasion contrastingly than staged occurrence. The study also brings up question on estimation of speed which is subjective to each students and consequently may manipulated the findings. Lastly, the research also culturally bias as all the students who were participated in the study are Americans.
The reliability of memory experiment also has been done by Levinger and Clark (1961). The experiment is aimed to inspect whether repressing can lead to the failure of remembering particular words, thus the presence of repression act as independent variable while the ability to remember particular words depend on it. In the research, subjects were first exposed to a list of total 60 words of which half of them were judged to be ‘emotional’ and the other half were neutral words. Love, pity and bad are the examples of ‘emotional’ connotations while sing, mouth and lamp are the examples of neutral words. They were then asked straight away...

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