Essay Cognitive Psychology False Memory

2259 Words Jan 15th, 2013 10 Pages
Running head: False Memory

Theoretical and Applied/Practical Perspective of False Memory The human memory is subject to a multitude of errors, including source misattributions, distortion and creation of false memories. In order to do justice to this paper one must first determine what is “False memory”? False memory is memory for an event that did not occur or distorted memory of actual events (Gleaves, Smith, Butler, & Spiegel, 2004). This type of memory has been an area of intense research interest for both theoretical and practical reasons and psychologists have long been interested in memory illusions and distortions, as such errors can inform theories of how the memory works (Hunt & Ellis, 2004). From a
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For example, Toglia, Neuschatz and Goodwin (1999) found that false recall rates remained high over a three-week period, whereas recall of studied words revealed the typical decrement. In short, the DRM paradigm allows for the easy and reliable elicitation of false memories in the laboratory. From a practical perspective, false memories are a threat to the validity of eyewitness testimony, a misleading source of autobiographical information in psychotherapy, and a biased representation of lessons taught in educational settings. For this assignment the validity of eyewitness testimony only, will be discussed (Hunt & Ellis, 2004). According to Greene (as cited in Loftus, 1995, p.720), “memories do not exist in a vacuum. Rather, they continually disrupt each other through a mechanism that we call “interference”. For instance, memories can be disrupted by things that an individual experienced earlier, this is known as proactive interference or situations that one may experience later, which is known as retroactive interference. Based on the interference theory from a retroactive interference perspective, when new information is received that is misleading in some ways individuals make errors when they report what they saw. The reason for this is that new information often becomes incorporated into the recollection, supplementing or altering it in a significant way (Porter, Bellhouse, McDougall, Brinke & Wilson, 2010). Elizabeth Loftus (as

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