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It's Always Better When They're Together

1815 words - 8 pages

Most mental and behavioral phenomena have corresponding mechanistic explanations that can be categorized in different ways. Typically, research will either involve a biological level of analysis, a psychological level of analysis, or a combination of the two. A biological analysis contains a genetic, neural, or hormonal explanation, whereas a psychological analysis focuses on the cognitive, emotional, or behavioral processes associated with a specific phenomenon. Although the two have quite different focus points, a combination of both levels of analysis is needed in order to sufficiently report on a phenomenon. Additionally, certain phenomena may require more emphasis on one level over the ...view middle of the document...

Jacques, 2013, 542). The updating mechanism is the process that is used when false memories form because the brain is incapable of distinguishing the false update from the original memory.
Though the psychological mechanism shows that the phenomenon occurs, the biological mechanism gives a deeper understanding of how the phenomenon is affecting the human body. To continue explaining the factors of this phenomenon, the biological mechanism proposed is the sensory reactivation of the auditory and visual cortex during the retrieval phase, and also that true and false memories show similar patterns of brain activation (Stark, 2010). This mechanism accounts for the phenomenon by describing the accepted view that memories are encoded and then reactivated at the time of retrieval, but they provide fMRI data and actual biological processes to explain this further. Specifically, the images provide knowledge that the auditory cortex was reactivated during retrieval for auditorially encoded information even if the person believed that it came from a visual source. In the visual cortex, true or false memories could be differentiated in early more posterior regions of the brains, but later, more anterior regions could not (Stark, 2010, 488). This information provides depth in the investigation of false memories, which could not be possible without biological data. The activation of the specific cortical areas in the brain is the biological mechanism that helps to show that memories can be changed due to interference in the memory consolidation process, even at a neuronal level.
Together, the biological and psychological levels of analysis explain the phenomenon of false memories by accounting for both the updating process and other factors that affect how memories are stored and perceived. Both of these mechanisms are describing the same or similar aspects of this single phenomenon. They are addressing the processes and interferences that lead to false memories or the enhancement of memories. This is important for our understanding of the topic because these two different mechanisms compliment each other to describe a single specific aspect of a phenomenon in depth. When studying a topic, providing both a psychological mechanism and a biological mechanism helps the research to gain more complexity due to the fact that not only are there multiple forms of the same information, but the phenomenon has been researched from different angles in order to gain complete knowledge of the occurring phenomenon.
Another researched phenomenon is the different motivational effects in aging individuals. This phenomenon applies to many other ideas as well, but particularly interesting is how motivation affects memory and decision making in younger and older adults. The first psychological mechanism that applies to this phenomenon is the socioemotional selectivity theory. This theory states that when time is perceived as limited, as is...

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