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Human Memory week 8 Notes

by: Becca Sehnert

Human Memory week 8 Notes PSYC 460

Becca Sehnert
GPA 3.9

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These are the notes for the 8th week of classes. One of the attached documents is not complete but will be finished in the following weeks.
Human Memory
Dr. Bob Belli
Class Notes
memory, Human, Psychology
25 ?




Popular in Human Memory

Popular in Psychology

This 29 page Class Notes was uploaded by Becca Sehnert on Thursday October 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 460 at University of Nebraska Lincoln taught by Dr. Bob Belli in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see Human Memory in Psychology at University of Nebraska Lincoln.


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Date Created: 10/13/16
Eyewitness Memory 3 Reliability and unreliability of Eyewitness Testimony Unreliability of eyewitness testimony ▯ Memory is unreliable and is a function of conditions at – Encoding – Retention – Retrieval Encoding ▯ No initial understanding that event in important – Witnesses are unprepared ▯ events usually happen quickly ▯ poor lighting ▯ distance – All three above factors and the identification of features of a defendant ▯ Stress ▯ Tendency to perceive what we want or need to perceive – Perceiving familiar bystanders as assailants 1 Retention ▯ length of retention interval ▯ Rehearsals as opportunities for reconstruction of events –Pizza box ▯ Post-event misinformation Retrieval ▯ leading questions, ▯ biased lineup—the nature of multiple choice recognition tests, ▯ the impact of conscious or nonconscious hints by police officers in lineup identifications, ▯ postidentification feedback effects What is Deflategate? ▯ Or Monicagate? ▯ Or Contragate? ▯ Or Celebgate? 2 John Dean (key figure in Watergate scandal) ▯ Former counsel to President Nixon ▯ “Whistleblower” – Exposed illegal activity of Nixon (and of himself) to Congress – Nixon (and Dean) assisted in obstruction of justice ▯Covering up Watergate Office Building buglary ▯ Nixon’s eventual resignation partly due to John Dean’s testimony before Congress ▯ White House audiotapes “discovered” after Dean’s testimony – How accurate had been John Dean? The events that John Dean testified about ▯ Were not of sudden and unexpected events ▯ Were disturbing (if not stressful) ▯ Did occur after lengthy retention intervals ▯ Were not subjected to outside suggestive influences Testimony consisted of ▯ Revealing what Nixon knew about the burglary and the cover-up ▯ Dealt with remembering conversations with Nixon ▯ Conversations or text – Verbatim recall – recall of exact text ▯Not expected – Gist recall – recall of the meaning, roughly faithful to the story line and the sequence of events ▯More expected level of accuracy 3 Dean’s testimony ▯ Was so detailed – Considered a human “tape-recorder” – Met often with incredulity ▯In need of explanation ▯Dean would insist that he used newspaper clippings as events unfolded, and then review them, as memory aids – Seemed to consist of close to verbatim recall Comparing testimony to actual audiotapes ▯ Dean did remember conversations he had with Nixon and told the truth about them ▯ But his verbatim recall was often inaccurate ▯ And notions of memory and truth are seen as complicated notions – His memory influenced by ▯familiar events – What conversations with Nixon typically dealt with (generic memory) ▯His own needs and image of himself as important Recall of September 15 (9 months later) ▯ Hardly a word of Dean’s account is true – Nixon did not say any of the things attributed to him ▯Did not ask Dean to sit down (but did he gesture?) ▯Did not tell Dean that Haldeman kept him up to date about events ▯Did not congratulate Dean for a good job – Dean did not say any of the things attributed to himself ▯That he couldn’t take credit for successes of the day ▯That the cover-up might unravel (in fact, he said the opposite, that it was all taken care of) ▯ The audiotapes do make it clear that Nixon was fully aware of the cover-up ▯ And Dean’s testimony is truthful about this ▯ But even gist memory not very good! 4 “Cancer on the Presidency” ▯ Dean did remember well-rehearsed events ▯ His warning to Nixon on March 21 was practiced ahead of time ▯ But he ascribed other conversation on March 21 dealing with meeting blackmail demands of the burglars to an earlier meeting – Wrong time slice Dean’s memory ▯ Often filled with errors based on – what he should have said – What he expected Nixon to say ▯ How aware was Dean about not being completely accurate? – At times would admit that he could not recall what Nixon exactly said – But at other times would claim he could recall exact words when he was wrong ▯ Neisser claims that Dean was accurate at a level deeper than gist Discussion Questions on John Dean’s Testimony ▯ Neisser claims that Dean believed he was recalling specific conversations – But that instead he recalled ▯Repeated episodes ▯Rehearsed presentations ▯Overall impressions – many conversations and many experiencesained invariant across ▯ Discuss Dean’s testimony in terms of episodic and generic memory? ▯ How might lifetime periods fit in? ▯ What was accurate, and what was inaccurate, in Dean’s testimony ▯ Was Dean’s confidence in the accuracy of his memory at all justified? 5 Discussion Questions on Eyewitness Memory and Jurisprudence ▯ What type of accuracy does the legal system want? ▯ Our legal system has many protections for defendants ▯ Some have argued that victim’s rights are ignored ▯ Would you prefer – To err on the side in which more guilty and more innocent people ▯ are convicted ▯ go free ▯ What type of accuracy may be sufficient for the legal system? 6 2/20/2016 Recovered/False Memory Debate 1-3 The so-called “Memory Wars” in psychology Late 1980s ▯ Heightened concern about the prevalence of sexual abuse of children ▯ Clearly, sexual abuse is very prevalent – Estimates that 20-30% of girls, and 15-20% of boys are abused – And tragic ▯psychologically damaging to its victims ▯ People who report being sexually abused as children – Difficult to admit – Only rarely false Recovered memories ▯ Therapists began to engage in memory recovery techniques with adults – Believed that certain symptoms—depression, sexual problems, eating disorders—were signs of repressed memories of having been sexually abused as children – Only strong techniques could “recover” these memories – Psychoanalytic tradition – Assumes that recovering repressed memories will relieve symptoms ▯ People in therapy did report recovering memories of being sexually abused as children – often by their parents 1 2/20/2016 “The flight was uneventful” ▯ Many accused parents denied ever having sexually abused their children ▯ The “false memory syndrome” society was formed as a support group for accused parents ▯ Are these recoveries –accurate? –False memories? False memories due to drawing associations: The DRM paradigm ▯ I will read a list of words ▯ For now, just listen (DO NOT WRITE THEM DOWN) False memories due to suggestion: The misinformation effect ▯ Concerned with the accuracy of eyewitnesses ▯ Eyewitnesses after an event will be exposed to misinformation –Discussions with other eyewitnesses –Suggestions of what had happened ▯ By police ▯ By attorneys 2 2/20/2016 Attorney Questioning ▯ Consider a witness asked about an accident ▯ Attorney asks – How fast were the cars going when they “smashed” into each other? ▯ Witness likely to say that the cars were going fast and that the accident was serious ” How do we know? Loftus & Palmer (1974) experiment ▯ Subjects saw film of minor accident ▯ One half asked 50 – How fast were the cars going when they “smashed” into 40 30 smashed each other? hit ▯ Other half asked (mph) – How fast were the cars going 10 when they “hit” into each speed0estimate other? ▯ Smashed group also more likely to say there was broken glass when there was none BUT results are not clear to specific cognitive processes ▯ “smashed” vs. “hit” – An actual change in memory representations of the event? – Inferences instead? No changed memory representation? ▯ “smashed” biases the response distribution of possible speeds ▯ “smashed” leads to inference that there must have been broken glass even though no real memory of it 3 2/20/2016 Shown and misled item experiments ▯ Specific items were shown in a series of slides that “tell” a story, and items of the same category are later presented as verbal misinformation ▯ Shown stop sign, misled with yield sign (Loftus et al., 1978) Shown and misled item experiments: Design Condition Shown Verbally Told Test Slides Control Stop sign Nothing What did you see? Misled Stop sign Yield sign What did you see? Memory substitution hypothesis ▯ Does the misled item replace the shown item in memory – Does being told verbally that there was a yield sign at the corner – Replace the stop sign that was once in memory? ▯ Memory substitution – If so, storage-based interference 4 2/20/2016 The standard test ▯ Shown stop sign ▯ Verbally misled with yield sign – Control condition not misled ▯ Standard test – Forced choice between shown and misled items – Forced choice between stop and yield signs The misinformation effect ▯ Results with standard test show the misinformation effect 70 60 ▯ Subjects in misled condition 50 choose stop sign as the item 40 shown significantly less 30 control often than subjects in the per20nt misled control condition 10 re0ognize items ▯ Evidence appears to shown misled indicate memory substitution item item Problems with standard test ▯ Misinformation effect can occur with NO memory substitution at all – Misled subjects may remember precisely that they were verbally presented with the yield sign – Yet, because many of them never saw the stop sign which was shown ▯ Were not paying attention to the slides ▯ Never encoded the stop sign – Will accept the misled item (yield sign) as “possibly” being the item which was shown 5 2/20/2016 Shown and misled item experiments: Design Condition Shown Verbally Told Standard Slides Test Control Stop sign Nothing Stop vs yield Misled Stop sign Yield sign Stop vs yield Shown and misled item experiments: Design Condition Shown Verbally Told Standard Slides Test Control XXXXXX Nothing Stop vs yield Misled XXXXXX Yield sign Stop vs yield Misinformation Effect: Detecting memory change ▯ Standard test abandoned ▯ Cued recall test (Belli et 50 al., 1994) 40 – Before test, subjects 30 warned about 20 control misinformation 10 misled – At test asked to report bothercent recall shown and misled items 0 shown not items shown – Shown items more likely to be recalled in control than misled conditions 6 2/20/2016 Belli et al.’s (1994) cued recall test ▯ Evidence for memory impairment – Could be memory substitution (storage-based interference) – Could be retrieval-based interference ▯ Remembering misled item makes it more difficult to remember shown item ▯ BUT, shown item still stored in memory, just temporarily inaccessible Misinformation Effect: Source misattribution ▯ Not memory substitution – But among those who did not see shown items ▯ Remembering seeing the misled item AT the original event ▯ Source misattribution is a change to memory representation – Not forgetting, BUT – Adding to visual memory an item which was not originally there! Testing for source misattribution ▯ Source attribution test ▯ Misled subjects are asked whether they – Saw misled item at the event – Only read about misled item – Neither saw or read misled item 7 2/20/2016 Source attribution test results ▯ Subjects do make judgments that they remember seeing misled items Percent saw ▯ Subjects respond as quickly and confidently to having seen misled items 50 as they do shown items ▯ Subjects willing to bet as much money 40 on misled items as shown items ▯ Subjects told that items presented 30 verbally were not shown still claim 20 having seen misled items 10 ▯ Presenting misled items verbally more 0 than once increases claims of having misled not seen misled items items presented ▯ Demonstrates memory change via misinformation Retrieval Enhanced Suggestibility (RES): Design Condition Shown InitialTest Misled Final Test No Initial Stop sign Filler Nothing What type Test Control of sign? No Initial Stop sign Filler Yield sign What type Test Misled of sign? Initial Test Stop sign What type Nothing What type Control of sign? of sign? Initial Test Stop sign What type Yield sign What type Misled of sign of sign? RES Results (Chan et al., 2009) Percent Misled Final Recall (Yield Sign) 50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 No Test (Filler) Initial Test Control Misled 8 2/20/2016 RES Explained ▯ Ps spend greater attention on the verbal misinformation that directly contradicts accurate item reported on initial test – Eye fixations longer on misled items (Gordon et al., 2015) ▯ This heightened attention leads to greater retrieval fluency ▯ RES also leads to increases in having claimed seeing the misled items (Chan et al., 2012) ▯ Ps correct original memory may either – Be impaired – Not trusted False Memories and the recovered/false memory debate ▯ Various ways false memories shown in laboratory – Word studies and the DRM paradigm – Misinformation effect ▯ The DRM paradigm and the misinformation effect only show false memories for certain details of events – In general, the whole event (the theme of words presented; what happened) in these studies is remembered accurately – People are not misled to believe that they saw a different set of slides or videotape – a different whole event – In addition, there may be a difference between witnessing an event and being personally involved—as a victim—in an event ▯ Yet, the recoveries that are observed in therapy are whole events of personally experienced events – – would not these recoveries, in general, be accurate? – events?ple develop false memories for whole personally experienced Anecdotal evidence of false “recovered” memories ▯ Fantastic claims – Satanic ritual abuse – Multiple rapes in satanic cult – Murdered babies recently birthed ▯One woman “remembered” that her twin was murdered – Problem of childhood amnesia – Birth certificate indicated only a single birth ▯ Satanic coven changed birth certificate – No corroborating evidence that these events happened – Those accused include well-respected members of community – both men and women ▯Ministers, community leaders ▯ 9 2/20/2016 Experiments to test whether false childhood memories can be implanted in adults ▯ Studies by Loftus & colleagues and by Hyman & colleagues have found that false memories can be implanted ▯ Familial informant false narrative procedure – Family informants (parents, older sibs) provide information on true childhood events of subjects – Narratives are created from these true events – A false narrative is also created ▯ Being lost in shopping mall ▯ Knocking over punch bowl at a wedding Procedure ▯ First interview – All of the events (true and false) are presented to participants as true ▯ For a week – Participants engage in memory work –asked to try to remember (retrieve) as much as they can about all events, including false one, or given second interview. ▯ Final interview – Again, asked to provide a spoken report of the false event and whether they remembered that it happened Results of these studies ▯ At first, participants reject false event as having happened to them ▯ Approximately 25% of subjects develop false memories for false events (including images and sense of pastness) by the end of the study 10 2/20/2016 Example of a false memory (Hyman et al., Table 30-2) ▯ /watch?v=PQr_IJvYzbA ▯ Often indicate shock when told at end of study (debriefing) that event did not happen ▯ Do these false memories have the flavor of a personal event memory? ▯ Phenomenological experience of remembering? Lindsay (2004): “Picture this: True pictures create false memories” ▯ False event: Putting slime in teacher’s desk ▯ One group received childhood classroom photos, other group did not ▯ 65% of subjects had false memories in photo group ▯ 30% had false memories in no photo group Source monitoring ▯ Perceptual information contained in a remembered experience is taken as evidence that the experience’s source is reality ▯ Events that happened long ago are not expected to include as much perceptual information to signal the source is reality in comparison to a more recent event ▯ In what ways does memory work and showing pictures contributes to developing perceptual detail? 11 2/20/2016 Schematic processing ▯ Relevant background knowledge needed to create false memories – Having been at a wedding – Where a wedding took place ▯ This relevant background knowledge serves as a larger context in which to construct a false memory ▯ Not unlike the event serving as a context in the misinformation effect in leading to remember false details Role of plausibility (1) ▯ Pezdek et al. (1997) exp 1 – Found that false memories less likely to occur for implausible events – Catholic and Jewish high school students both given two false events ▯ one in Catholic (“mass”) setting ▯ One in Jewish (“Shabot”) setting ▯ both referred to in narratives as “weekly service” or “nightly prayers” – 32% had false memories for consistent setting – 8% had false memories for inconsistent setting Role of plausibility (2) ▯ Pezdek et al. (1997) exp 2 – Subjects were given 2 false events ▯ Being lost in a shopping mall ▯ Being given an enema for upset stomach – 15% of subjects developed false memories for shopping mall – 0% developed false memories for enema ▯ Developing false memories contingent on the event being plausible ▯ Experiencing sexual abuse in childhood would not be plausible for most people 12 2/20/2016 Is it ever plausible for being a victim of sexual abuse? ▯ Remembering events demonstration ▯ Please answer the following (yes, no unsure) to yourselves: – Regarding childhood memory, are there large parts of your childhood after age 5 which you can’t remember? Convincing someone that they are amnestic for childhood events ▯ Subjects asked to recall 4 or 12 childhood events between ages of 5 and 10 ▯ Later asked “Regarding childhood memory, are there large parts of your childhood after age 5 which you can’t remember? ▯ Difficulty in remembering many events led to inference of having an incomplete memory ▯ Perhaps it is possible to increase plausibility of being victim of sexual abuse No. of events yes Unsure + no 4 35% 65% 12 51% 49% Being in therapy ▯ Involves a wide variety of motives, beliefs, and interpersonal relations between therapist and client ▯ Client is desperate – For help – For someone to listen to them – For answers ▯ Therapists come across as being able to provide all of these things ▯ Therapists acquire client’s trust 13 2/20/2016 Memory recovery techniques ▯ Client told that symptoms indicate that buried—repressed— memories of sexual abuse exist ▯ Use photographs and have client imagine their childhood ▯ Difficulty remembering childhood taken as sign of pathological amnesia (repression) ▯ Any failure to remember seen as a sign of resistance ▯ Client told – that strong techniques are needed – That one must get worse before one can get better ▯ Any visualizations—flashbacks of fragmented experiences—are seen as reflecting true, buried, events ▯ Hypnosis is used to aid in visualization ▯ Group therapy – Strong negative emotions (anger, hate) and visualizations encouraged Source monitoring example (p. 371) ▯ Then it started with more horrific rapes, the whole nine yards. I had these horrible flashbacks .. Another time, I remembered my brothers and his friends hung me by my feet. It was only recently that I realized where those particular images came from. The [childhood abuse events] came from the book Sybil, and the upside down hanging came from a movie called Deranged, which I saw when I was 17 .. So different pieces of my life that had nothing to do with me being abused became part of the flashbacks. It’s amazing that my subconscious mind served them up without my knowing where they came from. The memory wars ▯ Scientists have had emotional and heated disagreements regarding – Whether adults’ long-forgotten but later remembered experiences of being sexually abused are ▯True recoveries ▯False memories ▯ Why has this debate been so aggressive and confrontational? 14 2/20/2016 Debate in psychological science ▯ Are mind and brain the same? ▯ Is the birth order effect on intelligence real? ▯ Can a neural network model account for moral development? ▯ Is intuition a valid way of knowing? ▯ Is adult memory for childhood abuse unreliable? Extreme polarization of the recovered/false memory debate Different applied psychological perspectives on how to account for recovered memories ▯ Actors ▯ Actors – Clinical/counseling – Experimental psychologists/psychiatrists psychologists ▯ Context ▯ Context – Emerging awareness of – Emerging awareness the high prevalence of of the unreliability of child sexual abuse eyewitness testimony ▯ Interpretation ▯ Interpretation – Recovered memories are – Recovered memories true are false ▯ Ethical concern ▯ Ethical concern – Protect the vulnerable – Protect the innocent 15 2/20/2016 APA Working Group on Investigation of Memories of Childhood Abuse ▯ Consisted of – 3 scientist-practitioners in law and clinical psychology (Judith L. Alpert, Laura S. Brown, & Christine S. Courtois) – 3 experimental developmental and cognitive psychologists (Stephen J. Ceci, Elizabeth F. Loftus, & Peter A. Ornstein) ▯ Published in Psychology, Public Policy, and Law (1998) – Final conclusions – Series of commentaries and replies illustrating a vigorous and polarized debate APA Working Group: Points of Agreement and Disagreement ▯ Agreement ▯ Disagreement – Child sexual abuse is a – The truth value and complex and pervasive generalizability of research problem that has ▯ Even the same data are historically gone interpreted differently unacknowledged – The respective value of – Most adults who were experimental memory research sexually abused as children remember all or versus clinical experience and part of their abuse observations – The extent to which therapists – True recovery is possible engage in suggestive techniques – False memory is possible – The extent to which memory for – There are gaps in traumatic events differs from knowledge and more memory for ordinary events research is needed From last time we have seen ▯ That false memories are possible – Laboratory evidence of false memories ▯ DRM paradigm ▯ Misinformation effect (suggestibility) ▯ Planting entire false childhood memories into adults – Therapists have likely induced false memories ▯ Memory recovery techniques ▯ Heightened suggestibility ▯ Real-world source monitoring errors 16 2/20/2016 But there is also evidence ▯ True Recovery or “Discovery” of forgotten child sexual abuse does occur – Sources of evidence ▯Patient interview studies ▯Case studies – Understanding how true recovery happens needs to explain ▯How forgetting having experienced sexual abuse occurs ▯How recovery or discovery occurs Most compelling patient interview study (Williams, 1994) ▯ Documented child sexual abuse of 129 women – Treated at an emergency room ▯ Interviews conducted on average 17 years after hospital visit with these patients ▯ Asked in detail about abuse histories – 38% did not recall abuse ▯Able to rule out – too young to remember abuse (childhood amnesia) – That abuse did not happen – 10% reported recovered memory experiences Case studies (Schooler) ▯ Interviews conducted with individuals – Who claimed to have recovered a once-forgotten episode of sexual abuse – Whose sexual abuse was corroborated from other sources ▯A trial for rape ▯A priest who was also accused by someone else ▯Perpetrator confession 17 2/20/2016 Unfolding of recovery ▯ Prompted by cue that corresponded to the original abuse experience (involuntary memory) – Seeing the perpetrator again – Therapist saying that abuse is likely to have occurred – Seeing one’s daughter at the same age as one was abused ▯ Recovery starts as an emotional onrush ▯ Recovered memory appears as a whole event or series of events, and not as a fragmented memory Nature of forgetting ▯ Surprising to individual that events were ever forgotten – Events distinctive and extended in time – Events may be overlooked in situations that if they were easily accessible, would have been reported ▯ DN was asked about entire abuse history –Remembered child sexual abuse but failed to report rape in adulthood that went to trial ▯ Precise degree of forgetting not clear – Appears some information less accessible in past than after recovery The aftermath of the memory wars ▯ Widespread reports of recovered memories has decreased ▯ Both sides have always agreed that child sexual abuse is very prevalent and tragic ▯ Both sides are approaching universal agreement – False memories of child sexual abuse are likely outcomes of suggestive therapies ▯But recovery not currently seen as a goal of trauma therapy – True recovered memories of child sexual abuse are have occurred ▯Most likely true when they spontaneously occur 18 2/20/2016 Discussion Questions ▯ What evidence may indicate that recovered memories are more authentic of actual events than they are false reconstructions of the past? ▯ What memory mechanisms can account for recovered memories? – Need to account for both ▯Forgetting ▯Recovery (remembering) True and false recovered memories ▯ Both occur ▯ Yet, continuous memories of abuse are the norm – Both true and false recoveries are far less prevalent ▯ Need explanations of recovered memories – In terms of their mechanisms ▯So far, have noted mechanisms of false recoveries – In terms of their rarity Theories of true recovered memories ▯ Need to account for both forgetting and recovery of potentially distinctive and traumatic events ▯ Special Memory Mechanisms – Psychodynamic (psychoanalytic) – Betrayal Trauma Theory ▯ Ordinary Memory Mechanisms – Ordinary forgetting mechanisms – Ordinary cuing mechanisms 19 2/20/2016 Psychodynamic Theories (1) ▯ Repression as a protective device – Seeks to keep traumatic memories from consciousness – But at times, memories do “seep” through – “Repressors” and “Non-repressors” as a personality style ▯Repressors report – low anxiety – They report using defensive strategies such as not thinking about things that bother them ▯Repressors recall – Fewer negative childhood memories than non-repressors – Recall fewer negative words recently presented than non- repressors Psychodynamic Theories (2) ▯ Dissociation Mechanisms – Three components of a dissociative response ▯ Alterations in one’s perceptions – derealization ▯ Alterations in one’s sense of self and connectedness to one’s body – depersonalization ▯ Memory disturbances (“flashbacks” and amnesia) – Dissociative personality trait also identified ▯ Includes a fourth component – Absorption – becoming lost in one’s thoughts – Dissociative responses found in people who have experienced traumas such as combat and rape ▯ PTSD includes both “flashbacks” and amnesia – Amnesias may be due to poor encoding when faced with a traumatic experience – May be due to “state-dependent” memory, in which one needs to “relive” being in a traumatic state to have the cues necessary to retrieve traumatic experiences Betrayal Trauma Theory (1) ▯ Proposed by Jennifer Freyd – Sexual abuse forgotten ▯ Not to reduce suffering ala a repression mechanism ▯ But because not acknowledging abuse is needed for survival – One is dependent on abusing caregiver for survival – Two-dimensional model of trauma ▯ 1) Terror – bodily harm as threat to life ▯ 2) Betrayal – threat to social relationships 20 2/20/2016 Betrayal Trauma Theory (2) – Terror leads to anxieties found in PTSD – Betrayal more likely to lead to amnesia ▯ The trauma of abuse by a caregiver leads to abuse information being blocked from memory mechanisms that control attachment and attachment behavior – Argues for a number of cognitive mechanisms that can lead to recovery ▯ Same mechanisms can also lead to false memories, however – Supporting evidence ▯ Assessed several patient interview studies ▯ Amnesia for parental or incestuous abuse higher than that found in nonparental and nonincentuous abuse Ordinary forgetting mechanisms ▯ Events that happened longer ago are harder to remember ▯ If people fail to rehearse unpleasant events, will tend to be forgotten ▯ Interference leads to forgetting – If abusing uncle also takes child to ball games – Remembering ball games may interfere with remembering the abuse Ordinary cuing/remembering mechanisms ▯ Memories of the past for nontraumatic recovered all of the time – Involuntary memories as one example ▯ Change in understanding/interpretation – An existing schema of abuse does not exist in child victim – When adult, such a schema develops – Seeing past events as abusive for the first time may also lead to a sense of recovery of something new ▯ Encoding specificity – Having cues during retrieval that match the environment of original encoding improves recall (dry-wet example) – Schooler observed that recoveries occur when there are cues that correspond to the original abuse experience 21 2/20/2016 A nuanced perspective ▯ Both recovery and false memories occur rarely ▯ Geraerts (2007, 2009) contrasted 3 groups ▯ Those with continuous memories of abuse ▯ Those who recovered memories spontaneously ▯ Those who recovered memories via suggestive therapy – Data ▯ Independent corroboration of abuse – Others abused by same perpetrator – Individuals who learned of abuse shortly after occurrence – Perpetrator confession ▯ DRM false memory task ▯ “Forgot-it-all along” task Geraerts’s memory tasks ▯ DRM – Ps given lists of associated words – measures tendency to falsely remember semantically related lures ▯ Forgot-it-all along – Studied associates (hand-palm); (river-bank) – Test 1 ▯ intermixed list of studied associates (river-b**k) ▯ and same targets but new context (tree-p**m); (Easy to solve) – Test 2- only tested associates previously studied (hand-p**m) ▯ Also asks if there was a prior recall for “palm” in Test 1 – Measures ability to remember the prior remembering in a different context Geraerts’s Results continuous spontaneous Suggestive therapy Corroboration 45% 37% 0% DRM (false 45% 40% 73% recall of lures) Forgot-it-all- 52% 24% 55% along (recall of prior recall) Spontaneous recovery group Forgets prior recalls Indicates that spontaneous recoveries on more than one occasion Suggestive therapy group Less ability to corroborate abuse; more susceptible to false memories Indicative (but not conclusive) that recoveries are false Certain individuals predisposed to being suggestible 22 2/20/2016 Discussion Question ▯ What if you were a memory expert and an attorney called on you to testify in a recovered memory case – What information would you like to know? – On what basis could you seek to determine whether the memory was true or false? – What kinds of information would you be willing to tell a jury? 23


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