Term Paper: Learning &amp Memory the Accuracy

Pages: 4 (1445 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Psychology  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] , 2010, p. 627). The true interesting aspect of false memory and that which was exhibited in my experiment is that in the latter, the opposite effect was produced. I did not recollect things that did not exist -- I recollected only a limited part of my front door. My certainty, however, was the most interesting aspect of this particular false memory, since I was sure that I had recollected everything there was about the door. In proving I had a severely circumscribed rectitude in my ability to do so, perhaps I was remembering things that did not exist since I was so convinced (and so wrong) that I had remembered everything.

There is also a correlation between my recollection of the concept of math, which is an abstract principle, and the DRM illusion, in which people tend to remember things that are not there related to general ideas (such as math, and as opposed to a highly specific object such as my front door). The DRM illusion in the name of the concept for people remembering things that were not necessarily there, such as the fact that when give a series of words that are associated they recollect words that are related to that series, yet were not included in them (Gallo, 2010, p. 833). I believe that my visual imagery of pencils when I imagined the concept of math can be categorized as a DRM illusion. Pencils are an associative concept that applies to math, especially in the context of school. But pencils can certainly be used without involving math, which means they were "nonstudied associates" (Gallo, 2010, p. 833) of math.


The implications of both the readings and the results of my personal research study are substantial. The most salient application of the concept of false memories relates to court cases in which there are plaintiffs who claim to have had repressed memories of criminal activities on the part of defendants (cases typically involve sexual abuse) (Dehon et al., 2010, p. 627). With it empirically proven that people can and do remember things that have not happened, there are sure to be a veracity of questions regarding the accuracy of the charges leveled by plaintiffs, and perhaps even some outright doubts about them. Loftus provides examples for numerous amounts of these dubious claims in which there is suitable reason to believe that fading memories may not necessarily be trustworthy in a court of law (Loftus, 1993, p. 519). Moreover, repressed memories appear to be one of the fundamental components of "the cognitive unconscious" (Baars, 1997, p. 28).

It is critical to note that the type of memory called in doubt is the memory of images and events, as opposed to that related to abstract notions. The fact that I was able to recall an abstract notion accurately while still involving associations (pencils) attests to the fact that even in the most sure areas of human experience and memory, that related to immutable, abstract concepts) there is room for error. The implications for perception-based mental representations, then, are that such possibility for error is increased with someone's life in the balance, a fact corroborated by the notion that impertinent memory retrieval techniques can lead individuals to believe that they experienced child abuse when they did not (Lindsay and Read, 1994, p. 281).


The experiential difference between imagery and with meaning-base mental representations is that although there is a strong proclivity for self-assurance of the accuracy of memory, it is invariably more flawed in the case of the former. The behavioral difference is critical, since there is the possibility that the perception-based mental representations can be used to incorrectly incriminate someone. My research study alluded to the fact that abstract-meaning-based metal representations are more reliable than perception-based ones.


Baars, B. (1997). In the Theater of Consciousness: the Workspace of the Mind. San Diego: Oxford University Press.

Dehon, H., Laroi, F. "Affective valence influences participant's susceptibility to False Memories and Illusory Recollection." Emotion. 10 (5): 627-639.

Gallo, D.A. (2010). "False memories and fantastic beliefs: 15 years of DRM illusion." Memory & Cognition. 38 (7): 833-848.

Lindsay, D.F., Read, D.J. (1994). "Psychotherapy and memories of childhood sexual abuse: a cognitive perspective." Applied… [END OF PREVIEW]

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