Psychology Essay writing help: Cognitive Psychology

Psychology Essay writing help

Memories can be distorted as well as constructed i.e. we can at times recall events that never really happened or talk about experiences that actually never happened with us. This construction of memory can have special implications especially in case of eyewitness testimony. But if in first place information never entered into memory, the recall of such information will not be helpful for the legal system. It is unfortunate that lot of research points that false memories are both persistent and convincing i.e. people understand them as being real (Brainerd & Reyna, 1998).

The eyewitness testimony plays a crucial role in many trials. Logically, it appears to be most authentic to ask people who actually saw the crime happen. But the evidence provided by research indicates that many a times this information is false. In fact, many a times innocent people are identified as criminals (Wells, 1993) or details of events are falsely recalled (Loftus, 1991). This does not mean that people who are giving testimony are faking; it reflects errors in memory. These errors could be due to many factors. One is suggestibility i.e. those giving information are influenced by leading questions asked by lawyers or police officers. Second reason for such errors is source monitoring i.e. attribution of memories to wrong source. For example i.e. when people need to identify the person who committed the crime from the lineup they often identify the suspect whom they have seen earlier or his face is similar to the one they say in album.

One of the personal instances when I suffered loss in memory relating to short term storage is when I was driving on a stormy evening. I had gone to meet my uncle and had the opportunity to visit him once earlier. Somewhere in the middle I took a wrong turn and got onto a road that was deserted and I felt lost. I found a small shop and asked for directions and was confident that I will now find my way out but to my surprise after taking the first turn I have forgotten the directions. It took me another two hours to find and reach my desired destination. One of the reasons for this could me the limited capacity of STM as explained by the stage model of memory (maybe the information provided was more than its storage capacity). Another reason could be that STM as store information only for a short period i.e. 30 seconds, as I did not rehearse the information the memory trace got decayed (trace delay theory).

One of the instances that relates to failure to recall from long term memory happened while sitting with my family. They talked about an instance when group of friends made fun of me as I was wearing some odd clothes. I could not recall the incident details like when this it happen, names of my friends etc. One of the reasons for this could be motivated forgetting; as the episode was embarrassing I repressed it. Another reason could be lack of retrieval cues making it difficult to recall the information.

One can enhance the memory by use of mnemonics. I use the image mnemonic frequently where I construct a picture of what I need to remember. For example if I have to learn a formula I use photographic memory to do so. Similarly if I have to remember group of people from a party I associate name with faces.


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