Memory: Real life examples
Eye witness testimony
A real life example of using memory as a way of knowing is using eyewitness testimony when convicting people of crimes. It is a common practice and very often has a large effect on the outcome for the accused. However, is it reliable as a way of knowing? A study shows that over 70% of all false convictions are due to false eyewitness accounts, which means that memory is not an entirely reliable way of knowing, perhaps because of emotions role in memory as well as bias – seeing what you expected to see. This is explained in the relations to AOK, human science. One case of misidentification was the conviction of Marvin Anderson in 1982. He matched the characteristics of the rapists, lived with a white woman as the rapist had claimed he did and was the only black man who did – this led the police officer as well as the victim to believe he was the rapist and he was sent to jail for 15 years before DNA testing proved his innocence.
Effect of Leading Questions on Memory
Memory as an area of knowledge is up to perception and interpretation of the knowledge; therefore leading questions have a large effect on how you viewed a particular thing. This is another reason why memory is not very reliable; it can be altered. Loftus and Palmer conducted an experiment, aiming to see how language can affect people’s memory of a particular scene. The participants watched a film of car crashes and questions were asked using verbs such as collided, contacted, smashed and hit. The trend found was that the leading verb changed the way the person viewed the clip, therefore altering their memory.
Reconstructive memory refers to memory recall found in the field of cognitive psychology. This is where memory is influenced by social and cultural factors and though we may believe our memory to be truthful accounts, they are often open to distortion from outside stimuli. This was explored in Bartlett’s study where a group of Englishmen were told a Native American legend and asked to reproduce it through serial reproduction at several intervals such as weeks, months and years. It was found that people could not accurately recall the story and made it shorter and easy to explain within their own cultural and social boundaries. The way that it was altered because of their social and cultural factors altered the original memory and opened it up to distortion.
Memory vs technology
How often do we bother to memorize phone numbers any more? Do we even know the periodic table or the multiplication table by heart anymore? We rely on technology a lot more today than we used to and it brings up the question why we would need to ever memorize anything if it is accessible on our iPhone at a moments notice. It has been found out that although technology aids us in remembering particular things, it impairs our memory as well. In a recent study, it has been found out that taking pictures of something hinders our ability of remembering it as accurately as we would have without taking a picture. This is because when we know that a device is going to keep tabs on our information for us, we are not likely to remember it. Although many of us believe that technology is helpful with storing information, if overused it has an impact on our memory and therefore can damage our memory more than help it. The reason that memory is important and everything should not be stored in a device is because the system needs to be exercised and otherwise will lose its use.
Lasse R. Shireen S. Anna Maria J. Malcolm M. Sebastian W.