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Evaluate one theory of how emotion may affect one cognitive process . Flashbulb memory. Flashbulb Memory. A clear moment of an emotionally significant moment or event. Where were you when? 1. You heard about 9/11 2. You heard about the serious illness of a family member

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flashbulb memory
Flashbulb Memory
  • A clear moment of an emotionally significant moment or event.

Where were you when?

1. You heard about 9/11

2. You heard about the serious illness of a family member

3. During the OJ case

flashbulb memory3
Flashbulb memory
  • Originally described by Brown & Kulik (1977):
    • Exceptionally vivid memories
    • Usually of important events with emotional significance
    • Resistant to forgetting over time
  • The debate centres on whether they are a special case, or the same as other memories
flashbulb memory4
Flashbulb memory
  • Typical ‘flashbulb’ events are dramatic, unexpected, shocking
    • E.g. disasters, deaths of prominent figures (esp. if unexpected), momentous events
    • World Trade Centre
    • Death of Kennedy, Princess Diana
    • Fall of Berlin Wall
flashbulb memory5
Flashbulb memory
  • Where you were?
  • What you were doing?
  • How you were informed?
  • How you reacted?
  • How others around you reacted?

Activity: answer these questions for a flashbulb memory of your own

flashbulb memory research
Flashbulb Memory Research
  • Surveys about dramatic events:
    • Brown & Kulik (1977) first to describe this type of memory, they found US PPs tended to have vivid memories of political assassinations
    • In their study, all PPs had good recall of Kennedy, BUT they found that black participants had a better recall of Medgar Evers ( a civil rights worker) death
  • This shows importance of relevance of the information
  • Physiological arousal may also be important (the Amydgala)
slide7

Brown and Kulik (1977)

Flashbulb

Memory:

Research

support

slide8

Flashbulb

Memory:

Research

criticism

considerations to the concept of flashbulb memory
Considerations to the concept of Flashbulb memory
  • Neisser (1982) proposed that the enduring nature of FBM a result of rehearsal and reworking after the event
  • We use the conventions of storytelling recounting important event
  • Its difficult to check the accuracy of flashbulb memories – nothing different about them
  • E.g – Neisser himself was sure he was listening to the baseball when pearl harbour was bombed in WWII – but it couldn’t have been possible because it wasn’t in the baseball season
  • Furthermore, The McCloskey et al. (1988) study also proposes that flashbulb memories are not special memories (see key study)
evaluation flashbulb memories
Evaluation: Flashbulb memories
  • Relatively little evidence for FMBs as a distinct memory process
  • They ‘feel’ accurate (we are confident in recall) but are just as prone to forgetting & change as other episodic memories
  • Evidence is still mixed.
slide11

Reflection: Based on brown and Kulik’s (1977) study and McCloskey’s (1988) study flashbulb memory, evaluate how flashbulb memory influences the cognitive process of memory.

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questions to check your understanding
Questions to check your understanding
  • What is a flashbulb memory?
  • Which researchers first proposed the concept of flashbulb memories?
  • What conclusions did McCloskey et al (1988) come to about flashbulb memories?
  • What did Neisser (1982) propose?
  • What conclusion can we come to by examining the research into flashbulb memories?
  • Make to evaluative points for the Brown and Kulik (1977) study