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Rapid Loss Of Short Term Video

613 words - 3 pages

The rate at which information is lost in short term memory does not have a set number, but instead it varies on different factors. In the field of criminal justice, it is particularly interesting to look at the influence of short term memory loss concerning the accuracy of eyewitness testimonies. The criminal justice sets up the system variables, which are the instructions given to the eyewitnesses before they engage in the method being used whether it be a lineup or a photospread. Estimator variables are the ones that cannot be controlled; they include the length of time of exposure to the suspect, lightning conditions, retention intervals, and length of time between observation of the suspect and the testimony.
The forgetting function is the term assigned to the strength of memory decreasing with time. In order to estimate how much of the memory remains, one must know the strength of the initial memory. The length of the retention interval is easily determined by police reports, but the strength of initial memory from seeing a face one time has been more of a challenge to determine. Studies using the eyewitness identification paradigm have been formed in which participants are briefly exposed to a face and given a lineup to pick from or to say that the perpetrator is absent. Then there is the recognition memory task that includes the target set and unfamiliar faces to distract the observer. Observers are then given pictures of the faces serially and asked to state whether or not they had previously seen the given face. In one particular study led by Deffenbacher, the results did not vary based on if the eyewitness identification paradigm or the recognition memory task had been used. The results indicated that memory is weakened more by longer retention intervals than by shorter ones. In other...

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