Misinformation Contributes To False Memory Article Reviews Example
Memory, a crucial part of human intelligence that, although it acts as a filing cabinet full of individual folders that contain specific memories has baffled humans, from social scientists to legal practitioners(Mathis) that rely on memory as a tool of their trades. As amazing as memory is, it can also be distorted, twisted from time to time. Once functioning nearly independently, absorbing details throughout the day, it has been shown that memory is affected by misinformation in a sort of erasing process due to a traumatic highly negative emotional event like that of a murder. Like everything else with the human body, memory, distinguished between short and long-term memory, which are respectively encoded and stored(Mathis) in the supercomputer of the brain in different ways and spaces is affected by external as well as internal forces and, because of this, lacks reliability in some instances. The misinformation study, first conducted by Elizabeth Loftus, summarizes the process in which memory is contorted by what is seen, felt, or experienced, whether the sensation is real or fabricated and ultimately revealed that, though misled, misinformed participants in the study yielded higher confidence ratings. Since then, numerous experiments have been conducted to reinforce the findings, but most highlight questions like the effect of the negative stimuli, e.g. murder, on the accuracy of memory, as well as how to properly and accurately explain the findings, leading to controversy over a highly accepted theory(Paz-Alonso, 2008).
Because of the broad range of effects produced by the misinformation effect, several theories have arisen to try to explain why it is so, including a coexistence between true and false memory, a block in recalling information, social-demand characteristics, and a theory termed the associative activation theory(Paz-Alonso, 2008). Due to the coexistence between true and false information misinformation does not completely replace true information, but instead merely blocks the sequence in which true information is retrieved or if it is recalled at all, which means memory, though like a computer, cannot be easily wiped, but molded to partially overwrite certain information. In the study presented in this article, retrieval order was examined for memory and suggestibility, contrasting starkly with original thoughts that memory were only based on lists and words, basic and simple uses of memory. In addition to the coexistence of information, social factors exert a substantial amount of sway in misinformation acceptance just as social demands force individuals to accept certain trends or act in different ways than they normally would. Just as social demands impact the acceptance of misleading information, so does delay, or the amount of time in between reception and recital of information. Just as with any other memorized information or presentations, presentations rely on precise information and language used. In addition to determining accuracy, delay is essential to assess how much memory is aroused and, in turn, is affected by suggestibility. In addition to psychological aspects of the study, one important factor was measured, the confidence in the witnesses that experienced the event and those who were misled. Peculiarly, those individuals who were misled had much more conviction in the truth of the lies that they were given and performed with higher confidence than those whose memory were not affected, showing the reliance on information. In conclusion, building upon a classic experiment, this study analyzed not only the process but also the effects of false information on memory and debunked a myth that false information and true information can exist and compete for recollection.
Mathis, J. (2010). The human memory. Retrieved from http://www.human-memory.net/
: Dr Pedro M. Paz-Alonso & Gail S. Goodman (2008) Trauma and memory: Effects of post
-event misinformation, retrieval order, and retention interval, Memory, 16:1, 58-75, DOI: 10.1080/09658210701363146