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Processes And Stages Of Memory Essay

1874 words - 7 pages

Donald Thomson is a psychologist that participated as a guest on the Australian talk show concerning eyewitness testimony. Donald disputed that by being an excellent eyewitness, one must be able to notice definite aspects of the facial appearance to aid in identifying a suspect. To properly identify a suspect as an eyewitness it is important to recall skin color, eye color, facial symmetry, average height, body build, and approximate age of the perpetrator. During this broadcasting, a woman that was watching the show was assaulted and raped. Shortly after she regained consciousness, she was interviewed by the police officer. Without hesitation, she identified Donald as her aggressor. Luckily for the psychologist Donald Thomson, it was a live taping which means that he had witnesses to support his alibi. This was the proof he needed to prove he was not the aggressor. The unexpected thing about this case is that Donald studies this phenomenon, eyewitness testimonies. We must ask ourselves, does this case show how rare and unusual human memory functions, or can these memory mistakes be a reoccurring problem (Wood, Wood, Boyd, Wood, Desmarais, 2011, p.185)? As an officer in law, they must remember not to breach the Charter of Rights and Freedom because a suspect could walk away without being charged. In law enforcement, there are various steps or systems that an officer must memorize on a day to day basis. For example: Giving a suspect their right to council, knowing where to search and what to be searching for, memorizing the rules, and legislations to make a proper arrest (Pollock, J.M. , 2010). This paper discusses memory, the different processes and stages of memory, why we forget, ways to improve, and strategies to help enhance the memory.
Memory is defined as being able to encode, store and retrieve or recall information from past experiences that can be used to have an effect on ongoing behaviour within the human brain (Wood, et al., 2011, p.186). Our minds create memories that need to go through the process of remembering to recall events. The action of remembering is made of three processes: encoding, storage, and retrieval. “The first process, encoding, involves transforming information into a form that can be stored in memory” (Wood, et al., 2011, p.186). For example: “Remembering important information is imperative for efficient memory performance, encoding important information is key in the health field” (Ariel, R., & Castel, A. D. 2014). “Selective attention is the tool that allows us to eliminate interference from the relevant information. The second memory process, storage, involves keeping or maintaining information in memory” (Wood, et al., 2011, p.186). Physiological changes in the brain must take place for encoded information to be stored. This is called consolidation. “Consolidation involves physiological changes that require the synthesis of protein molecules” (Wood, et al., 2011, p.186). For example: A group of individuals...

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