A Discussion And Evaluation Of The Methodological Advancements That Have Emerged From The Study Of Memory
What is memory? In order to recall facts, events and processes, we need to commit them into our memory. Forming a memory involves the process of encoding, storing, retaining and eventually recalling information from past experiences.
Encoding a memory is a process that begins from the minute we are born and occurs continuously which is what makes the study of memory so incredibly important; we use it for everything and on a daily basis. Furthermore, research into the subject can develop strategies in order to improve our memory. For example, Peterson and Peterson (1959) conducted an experiment that showed the time between remembering something and recalling it had an effect on the life of a memory. This shows that if we were to recall and rehearse information within the correct space of time, we are more likely to remember that piece of information.
The traditional memory theory (storehouse metaphor) that was proposed by early theorists does not take into account studies that involve emotion and the affect it has on memory. For example, Yuille and Cutshall, 1996, interviewed witnesses to a murder and found that memory was highly accurate and had little decline over time. Those who witnessed the murder and had reported the highest stress rate were 93% accurate in initial police interviews with a further 88% accuracy in a follow up interview 4-5 months later.