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lec8 notes - MEMORY AND EMOTION What about Memory for...

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MEMORY AND EMOTION What about.. Memory for highly emotional personal events? (e.g., first kiss) or.. Memory for traumatic events? (e.g., getting mugged) o Implications: eyewitness testimony, sexual abuse, autobiographical accuracy.. Question: How do emotions affect memory? emotions make our memory INDELIBLE (=impossible to remove) emotions ENHANCES our memory emotions DISTORT our memory emotions have NO SPECIAL effect on memory General Accuracy in Memories for the question of emotional memory to be interesting, it can’t be the case that memories are always accurate. large body of evidence showing that memory is easily distorted. this is one reason for initial interest in emotions improving memory. Memory is easily distorted memory is NOT like a camera errors and biases can introduce themselves into all stages of the memory process for example.. Loftus & Palmer (1974) showed participants a videotape of a car accident and asked participants: o “How fast were the cars going when they hit each other?” o or o “How fast were the cars going when they smashed into each other?” Results: o average speed estimates for different verbs: “smashed” 40.8 mph “collided” 39.3 mph “bumped” 38.1 mph “hit” 34.0 mph “contacted” 31.8 mph Schema-driven memory the mind can be understood as a network of associations—similar associations are closer to each other than dissimilar association so, activating a concept causes the activation of a host of related concepts.
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Word-List Study snooze; night; doze; rest; tired; eat; dream; bed; awake; comfort; slumber; snore Which words were on the list? dream; truck; sounds; sleep Are emotional memories indelible? William James (1890) o “an impression may be so exciting emotionally as to leave a scar upon cerebral tissues..” o “each of us will remember what happened that day and to whom it happened. we will remember the moment the news came, where we were and what we were doing.” – president Bush’s televised address to congress. o “more facts of nature: all forest animals, to this very day, remember exactly where they where and what they were doing when they heard that Bambi’s mother had been shot.” “Special Mechanism” argument surprising and consequential events are recorded almost like a photograph survival value—brain mechanism dedicated to remembering biologically crucial but unexpected with high accuracy . example: if a leopard jumped out from behind a certain rock outcropping, it would be a really good idea to remember that event and that place, if you want to survive.
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