PSYCHOLOGY Essay Research Paper The intention of

PSYCHOLOGY Essay, Research Paper

The purpose of this essay is to discourse the averment that the human memory is delicate, in visible radiation of psychological research refering encryption, storage and retrieval. This is a capable country with a huge measure of information to pull from and to include all this in the essay would do it far excessively long. Therefore, for each of the procedure countries, one illustration has been researched and discussed.

The decision of this essay is that from the three illustrations described, it would look that the human memory is so delicate and able to be influenced even without a individual? s cognition. Appreciation and apprehension of these failings is of great importance in the condemnable justness system. As police officers we have a responsibility to seek for the truth, non a obscure thought of what it may be.


The procedure that will be discussed under this header is emphasis of informants and how that effects encoding of memories.

It would be sensible to say that witnessing or being the victim of a serious offense, a topic would experience the affects of emphasis. It is how, if at all, this has a bearing on the encryption procedure for those memories, and the impact that has on probes.

There are two chief applications associating to emphasize in this subdivision. The first relates to the YERKES-DODSON Law, depicting the basic relationship between a offense and a informant? s ability to remember accurate item ( Yerkes & A ; Dodson 1908 as stated in Gruneberg & A ; Morris 1992 ) . This is described as being an inverted U form curve and provinces that public presentation related to emphasize occurs in a curvilineal manner. Very low degrees of emphasis green goodss hapless public presentation, moderate degrees of emphasis facilitate public presentation and extra sums of emphasis hinder public presentation and convey it back down. The map of the U will change along with the different manner people deal with emphasis and the fortunes of the to-be-remembered ( TBR ) event.

Peters ( ( 1988 ) as stated in Grunberg & A ; Morris 1992 ) supported Yerkes & A ; Dodson? s hypothesis with his empirical surveies. He concluded that emphasis straight affected the ability of a informant to describe offense. His experiment studied topics run intoing a nurse who injected them and a research worker who did non. Then one twenty-four hours and one hebdomad subsequently exposures were shown to the topics of these two people. From this he found that he received better descriptions and designations from the exposure of the researcher than of the nurse. This he concluded demonstrated that as rousing additions, much beyond normal, truth of the memory suffers.

The 2nd application in this subdivision comes by manner of an opposing theory to that of Yerkes & A ; Dodson and Peters. Laboratory surveies conducted by assorted professionals ( Hever & A ; Reisberg 1990 ; Christianson, Loftus, Hoffman & A ; Loftus 1991 ; Christianson & A ; Loftus 1991 and Yuille & A ; Cutshall 1986 as stated in Gruneberg & A ; Morris 1992 ) concluded that high degrees of emphasis does non needfully take to hapless memory.

The survey conducted by Yuille & A ; Cuthall ( ( 1986 ) as stated in Milne & A ; Bull 1999 ) indicated that following a extremely nerve-racking incident ( a homicide ) witnesses accuracy rate was 93 % when interviewed two yearss after the TBR event. Even four to five months subsequently the truth rate was 88 % . Christianson & A ; Hubinette ( ( 1993 ) as stated in Milne & A ; Bull 1999 ) with their survey of bank Tellers following an armed robbery, besides supported this theory with the truth of their information. However, both of these surveies looked at the truth or quality of the information from the informants, non the measure.

These surveies merely recorded topics that were in close propinquity to or involved in the incident. They do non concluded in their research that propinquity of the informant might counter equilibrate the high emphasis to help memory ( Gruneberg & A ; Morris 1992 ) .

In their survey of a one hundred and 20 provisional constabulary officers, Yuille, Davies, Gibling, Marxsen & A ; Parker ( ( 1994 ) as stated in Milne & A ; Bull 1999 ) researched both these countries. Whilst seting the student nurses in both nerve-racking and non-stressful simulations, they concluded that emphasis decreased the measure of accurate information but improved the truth and the opposition to disintegrate over clip.

Yuille & A ; Cutshall ( ( 1989 ) as stated in Milne & A ; Bull 1999 ) travel onto suggest that the accurate encryption and recalling of information may ensue from the topic practising the scene in his or her head, or telling it to others so reenforcing it in their memory.

Howe, Courage & A ; Peterson ( ( 1994 as stated in Milne & A ; Bull 1999 ) travel farther and state, the really nerve-racking nature of the event will concentrate the topics attending to core facets of it. There may be internal feelings or external event factors, nevertheless, this narrowing of attending may help with the memories being stored and remembered for longer.

This focussing, nevertheless, can be draw back every bit good as an assistance to the encryption of information. At the scene of an armed robbery, there can be tendency to concentrate on a peculiar portion of the event ; this is called item saliency. In peculiar the presence of a arm, particularly a deadly arm, can concentrate the informants attending so much that other item such as description of the wrongdoers are non paid attending to and hence non encoded and stored.

In their experiment Loftus, Loftus & A ; Messo ( ( 1987 as stated in Gruneberg & A ; Morris 1992 ) monitored the oculus motions of two groups of topics. Each group was shown one movie ; the movies were about indistinguishable except for one subdivision of it. In the first movie a adult male points a gun at a teller and she hands over some money. In the 2nd movie alternatively of a gun, the adult male hands over a check and once more the teller hands over some money.

In the debriefs the group sing the? gun? scenario? fixated? on the gun and were less able to remember other facets of the movie, such as descriptions, than the topics who viewed the 2nd scenario.


The application of these surveies to facets of policing, peculiarly fact-finding interviewing is of import. Where measure and quality of information is being judged, and where a victim has suffered from intense emphasis such as arm focal point, non to understand the impact these issues have on the nature of encryption is short sighted and restricting.

Despite the conflicting grounds I believe that emphasis in informants is a good index of the delicate nature of the memory in the case of encoding.

Storage or Retention

For the 2nd subdivision of this essay, the country of station event information will be looked at prior to interviews. Within this, the inquiry as to whether misdirecting information replaces ( overwrites ) or co-exists with the original information is discussed.

Once a memory has been encoded, it is non inactive and it can be influenced. With the passing of clip some of these memories can merely be forgotten or fade, as the cues become weak. However, it is the possible for events to act upon the original memory, that has caused much contention amongst psychologists over the old ages.

Fruzzette, Toland, Teller & A ; Loftus ( ( 1992 ) as stated in Milne & A ; Bull 1999 ) remind us that every one views a TBR event otherwise, and hence will go to to different facets of it. A informant to a route traffic accident may catch another informant reference one peculiar facet of this accident, and even if they had already attended to it themselves, the likeliness of them remembering that peculiar piece information station incident is increased. ( Bekerian & A ; Arbors 1983 as stated in Gruneberg & A ; Morris 1992 ) .

If the same informant to the accident overhears another informant telling an facet of the accident that they themselves did non go to to, so the opportunities of this new piece of information being recalled subsequently is besides increased.

So from the above it has been demonstrated that encoded facts can be enhanced by them being mentioned prior to interview. And we can see that new or deceptive information that had non existed before, can take its topographic point in the memory. Even the ability to tell Ac

minister of religion information can be affected by being given false or deceptive information. Some surveies demonstrated that the lessening in accurate information was every bit much as 30 % -40 % .

Research has besides been undertaken sing the impact of clip and if the new information relates to cardinal or peripheral facets of the TBR event. Loftus, Miller & A ; Burns ( ( 1978 ) as province in Milne & A ; Bull 1999 ) reported that the increased clip hold between the supplementing of the misinformation and callback strengthened instead than weakened this new information.

Some research workers such as Dritsas & A ; Hamilton 1977 ( as stated in Gruneberg & A ; Morris 1992 ) concluded that the strength of the memory might find the extent to which it can be altered by any new deceptive information. Additionally, the issue of cardinal or peripheral penchant, they concluded that facets such as arm focal point, which are cardinal facets, are less likely to be influenced that those on the peripheral.

Finally in this subdivision the issue of whether the misleading or new information overwrites or co-exists with the original memory. As with most facets of psychological science opposing theories exists. The permutation hypothesis proposes that the? new? ( misdirecting ) information does so overwrite the original memory in a lasting manner. ( Loftus 1979 ; Loftus & A ; Ketcham 1991 as stated in Milne and Bull 1999 ) . Zaragoza & A ; Koshminder ( ( 1989 ) as stated in Milne & A ; Bull 1999 ) believed that the new item does non do up portion of the memory, but the? consequence occurs as a consequence of demand features factors inherent in the proving state of affairs force per unit area? .

In contrast to this theory McClosky & A ; Zaragoza ( ( 1985 as stated in Milne & A ; Bull 1999 ) believe that the new and original memories can co-exists together. They surmise that given the right retrieval conditions, the original memory was accessible. They suggest that teaching the topic to disregard the post-incident information could make this. However, other surveies have demonstrated that even after holding been given that direction, topics still continue to provide parts of the deceptive information ( Weingardt, Toland & A ; Loftus 1994 as stated in Milne & A ; Bull 1999 ) . Even the causes of this type of deceit of memories such as the beginning ascription theory can non to the full explicate this hard but interesting field of the memory ( Lindsay & A ; Johnson 1989 as stated in Milne & A ; Bull 1999 ) .


Whichever theory a individual subscribed to, it has now been good documented that false memories can happen at any phase following a TBR event, and these can be influenced in a figure of ways. The importance for fact-finding interviewing is hence apparent. Even before the phase of entering a formal statement of interview has been reached, other informants and bystanders can get down the procedure of false memory paradigm.

By doing officers cognizant of the impact misdirecting information clearly has on our memories, they can get down to protect and keep its unity. Here once more I believe that the delicate nature of our memory can be seen and its deductions highlighted.


In the 3rd and concluding subdivision of this essay the country of cured memory syndrome will be discussed.

Although the issue of recovered or pent-up memory has come to the head of the jurisprudence, and so media, over the past few decennaries, its theory started as far back as Freud. The issue here is if a memory has been blocked, why? And is the method by which the memory is recovered quantifiable. For illustration some of the most sensational instances have resulted from repressed memories holding been recovered during hypnosis or therapy. In the proceeding subdivision how easy it is for misdirecting information to be introduced was discussed. This highlights the tenuous nature of memories? recovered? after some clip has elapsed.

Freud & A ; Breuer ( ( 1924 ) as stated in Rapaport 1942 ) when speaking about hypnotic hypermnesia maintained ;

? that a hysterical symptom could be traced back to an

original traumatic experience?

The deduction is that the original memory is so traumatic that its being is rejected or excluded by the witting head.

Hull ( ( 1933 ) as stated in Rapaport 1942 ) tries to explicate why childhood experiences long forgotten are recalled under hypnotic arrested development. He concludes that there are two hypotheses ; Either the memory hint of a childhood memory is non peculiarly weaker than a normal memory, but that a injury or emotional composite blocks or inhibits the callback somehow. The 2nd hypothesis provinces that the callback is to make with the fact that a hypnotic enchantment automatically lowers the callback threshold to uncover these memories.

Since these early yearss of this sort of research, a greater apprehension has developed and improved research methods. One of the initial jobs with childhood/infantile memory loss is that it is good documented now that by and large we have no memories before the age of three or four. ( Fivush & A ; Hammond 1990 ; Fivush, Pipe, Murachver & A ; Reese 1997 as stated in Milne & A ; Bull 1999 ) .

Even in older topics uncertainties as to the nature of pent-up memories have been raised and non merely in the UK. In the USA in 1990, George Franklin was convicted of the slaying of a child 20 old ages before. The primary grounds rested on that his ain girl, Eileen, recalled that in 1969 when she was eight old ages old, witnessed her male parent killing her best friend. ( Memon & A ; Young Legal and Criminological Psychology page 131 and Hallanon, Park, Paul and Thomson, Time April 17 1995 page 56 ) . However, in 1995 following an entreaty, this strong belief was overturned, but it acts an illustration of the impact so called repressed or cured memories can hold.

It is non that psychologists disbelieve that Acts of the Apostless of maltreatment can happen or violent offense witnessed, but it is how the credibleness of these memories can be ensured.

The position that? recovered? memories are merely available to be remembered at the appropriate clip ( i.e. in therapy ) lacks scientific support harmonizing to Loftus 1993 ( as stated in Milne & A ; Bull 1999 ) and is a rare phenomena harmonizing to Read & A ; Lindsay 1992 ( as stated in Milne & A ; Bull 1999 ) . Thomson ( ( 1995b ) as stated in Milne & A ; Bull 1999 ) suggested that suppression is the more likely account. On these occasions a topic chooses non to volunteer the information, so doing the difference between the two clear.

Regardless of the theory one chooses to back up, the being of pent-up or cured memory is now good into the public sphere and the legal system. There are several issues that relate it straight to its delicate nature and the deductions for look intoing officers. As with constabulary officers, healers and counselors can be ill trained and inexperienced when covering with this sort of phenomena. By helping a client to retrieve a pent-up memory, doing a implicative comment or inquiring a taking inquiry, a part can be made, even inadvertently, to the events that are so reported ( Thomson 1995b as stated in Milne & A ; Bull 1999 ) .


The kernel of the research into the syndrome, encompasses a wish to hold an empathy with a victim of such a awful offense. Whilst holding the belief and expertness that if there were in fact a instance to reply, so the recovery procedure goes to back up the truth, non a abortion of justness.

Overall Decision

The purpose of this essay was to show the delicate nature of the memory, by utilizing three illustrations that are linked in some manner. The overall subject is that whilst we still do non understand everything at that place is to cognize about our memories, if so we of all time will, we now know plenty to do every attempt in the condemnable justness system to account for them.

To disregard all this grounds when carry oning an probe in to a offense, no affair what the fortunes is irresponsible at best, and negligent at worst. With the execution of European Court Human Rights in October this twelvemonth, it will be even more of import that all bureaus non merely the constabularies have a greater apprehension of the delicate nature of memory.