Accuracy Of Memory Essay

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Memory is defined as “The mental capacity or faculty of retaining and reviving, facts, events, impressions, etc., or of recognizing previous experiences.” Many people rely on their memories and are convinced their memory is always correct. Scientist have tested memory multiple times and found that memory is not all that reliable. Memory has been found to be affected by many factors such as emotions, verbs, selective attention, and many more. The following article explores the ways memories are false and affect crime cases.
The article written by Laura Beil, “The Certainty of Memory Has Its Day in Court” informs readers about how memory can be unreliable. In witness testimonies, memory is vital to gather suspects in a crime. The issue is, memory
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To test people’s memory, a robbery scene was staged while bystanders watched. The bystanders were used as participants in the investigation. The scene shows a woman yelling in another language to an older man who can’t understand her. Another man runs into the scene and takes something from the old man’s satchel. The man passes what he took to another man wearing a red jacket and that man runs away and the woman starts to run the opposite way. When the witnesses were asked what happened, they all said the woman was yelling in a different language, but they didn’t agree on what language she was speaking. Witnesses listed languages such as Russian, Spanish, or an eastern/south European language. There were also claims the woman was Asian, Caucasian, or European. When asked how many people were involved in the crime scene, participants answered two or three when there were four. At the lineup, there were five suspects and the majority picked suspect number five as the person who stole from the old man. Turns out suspect number three was the one who stole and suspect number five was a part of the bystanders. At some point, participants were tricked into believing the woman was wearing a red coat when she was actually wearing gray and that the old man dropped something when he never did. This episode of Brain Games demonstrated that memory is easily manipulated and it is not always recollected

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