Affect and Accuracy in Recall: Studies of 'Flashbulb' by Eugene Winograd, Ulric Neisser

By Eugene Winograd, Ulric Neisser

Reminiscences of unforeseen and emotional occasions (called ''flashbulb'' stories) have lengthy been the topic of theoretical hypothesis. The fourth Emory Symposium on Cognition introduced jointly each person who has performed study on thoughts of the Challenger explosion, that allows you to achieve greater knowing of the phenomenon of flashbulb thoughts: How do flashbulb thoughts evaluate with different kinds of memories? Are they surprisingly exact, or in particular long-lived? Do they replicate the job of a distinct mechanism, as has been instructed? The ebook additionally addresses extra basic problems with impact and accuracy: Do emotion and arousal boost reminiscence? if that is so, lower than what stipulations? by means of what physiological mechanisms?

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Mechanism, which has evolved to preserve rather indiscriminately the details, important as well as unimportant, of "biologically significant" events. Two assumptions are implicit in Brown and Kulik's (1977) account. First, they seen to assume that the personal circumstances of hearing news will normally escape memory completely. Pillemer (1984) stated this point very clearly when he asked "why these mundane, private experiences are remembered at all . " (p. 77). The assumption of zero memory may be the reason why these researchers accepted memories as being flashbulbs even when subjects only claimed to recall one of the six "canonical" features of flashbulbs (cf.

This would easily explain the mislocations in our data. We must note that this last hypothesis does not fit easily with the subjects' own reports of their feelings. Most of them used words like "shocked" and "stunned," which imply a strong immediate reaction rather than a gradual growth of affect. But for all we know, the real link between affect and memory may be some biochemical mechanism - a high level of glucose, for example, and/or a rush of adrenaline - that is not directly reflected in introspection (cf.

Salaman, E. (1970). A collection of moments: A study of involuntary memories. London: Longman. , & Singer, J. E. (1962). Cognitive, social, and physiological determinants of emotional state. Psychological Review, 69, 379-399. Sheehan, P. , & Neisser, U. (1969). Some variables affecting the vividness of imagery in recall. British Journal of Psychology, 60, 71—80. Wells, G. , & Murray, D. M. (1984). Eyewitness confidence. In G. L. Wells & E. F. ), Eyewitness testimony: Psychological perspectives.

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