It is unlikely that social consequences of false memories can be avoided. Elizabeth Loftus was intrigued to study false memories, and is perhaps personally responsible for subsequent developments throughout the history of false memories. Some of this history addresses various theories aimed at isolating how or why false memories occur. These include Source Monitoring Framework, Activation Monitoring Theory, Fuzzy Trace Theory, and strategies for persuasion which can lead to the development of false memory. Such persuasion leads to the present discussion concerning how persuasion in the judicial system has created false confessions and wrongful eyewitness testimonies, due to the Misinformation Effect. Additionally, Recovered Memory Therapy psychotherapy, a method used to reclaim lost memories, reveals itself as problematic where false memories are concerned.
Imagine one day you meet the most talented hypnotist in the world. This hypnotist tells you he can change your memories without even breaking a sweat. Maybe this sounds like magic or just plain nonsense to you but in reality it isn’t that difficult to tamper with memories. Any time you hear a different telling of an event, even one you witnessed first-hand, your perception of the event changes over and over becoming a conglomeration of everything you’ve heard about the aforementioned event. Memoirs and other pieces of literature written from memory suffer from these easily modified memories and can’t always be trusted to be true.
Why have more than two-thousand people exonerated for crimes they didn’t commit? Eyewitness misidentification is the leading cause of wrongful convictions in the U.S. Memory can be influenced by anxiety, stress, reconstructive memory and other factors possibly affecting the testimony of the eyewitness and in turn, misleading the jury. I think that when subjects witness a crime they will struggle to remember important details of the event, and their recollection could be easily altered. This is because the reconstructive memory can be influenced by factors such as stress, anxiety, and verbal cues.
In “Muller Bros. Moving & Storage” by Stephen J. Gould, he explains some of the memories that he is able to recall about his grandfather. However, he later realizes that he clearly did not recall every exact detail correctly as he once thought it had been. He states, “And the human mind is both the greatest marvel of nature and the most perverse of all tricksters,” (Gould 1). This relates to Hart’s point on chapter 14, in which he explains how it is important to know actual facts and to not to change information that may tamper with the story. Yet, sometimes it is really hard for the mind to analyze what actually occurred as to what one thinks happened. Gould remarks, “But certainty is also a great danger, given the notorious fallibility--and unrivaled power--of the human mind,” (Gould 1). Although Gould recognizes that his description of his memory is entirely wrong, he provides the example of how Elizabeth Loftus discovered that the mind is very powerful, but can at times fail to do its job properly. Therefore, in a way it was not entirely Gould’s fault for accidentally providing some falsify
“There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory.”-Josh Billings. In “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls you will find out how memory can play a huge part in our lives and how your perspective can change your whole idea on something.
“Of what use is the memory of facts, if not to serve as an example of good or of evil?” (Alfred de Vigny). Memory encodes various pieces of information that can be utilized in an enormous amount of situations to benefit people. However, memory is also fallible. It alters and creates new memories, changing the original encoded data for unknown reasons. This creates a major issue within a judicial system. It takes a few eye witness testimonies towards the prosecuted individual to incarcerate them, even if they did not commit the crime. It is because of this reason that Scott Fraser chooses to speak out against eye witness testimonies.
The two recognition and reward programs that I would like to participate are Employee attendance and employee empowerment. Based on an employee attendance reward, it makes the company feels s/he cares about his or her job. Also it helps the employee protect his or her job. However, the employee empowerment makes the employee feels s/he has been trusted by the organization. Moreover, the employee get involved more to help the organization succeed.
At that precise moment, I know for a fact that I will tell the truth because that is my character and what I believe in. Nonetheless, a sudden fear crosses my mind; the doubt that I will not remember what I witnessed frightens me. Although it has never happened before, at every new trial, I am troubled about the thought that I will not recall exactly what happened during the situation that brought me to trial. Moreover, I believe that the offender that is on trial can easily withhold the truth about their part in the situation. As police officers, we have body cameras that record what we say and what we do during our course of duty; therefore, to see an offender falsely state what happened, sickens me. We swear to God to tell the truth and to not do just that is not appropriate.
“Why is eyewitness testimony so powerful and convincing? Because people in general and jurors in particular believe that our memories stamp the facts of our experiences on a permanent, non-erasable tape, like a computer disk or videotape that is write-protected,” (p. 21). This passage is important because it shows how much emphasis jurors put on eyewitness testimonies. This passage is important for research purposes as it explains why jurors find this form of testimony so reliable. People do not want to believe that memories can be changed or manipulated so it is easy to sympathize with a defendant.
Like a jigsaw puzzle; such as an interviewer may ask a person in a crime scene to assemble pieces of memory of the traumatic event. Frederic Bartlett’s theory of reconstructive memory helps us understand the reliability of eyewitness testimony. Bartlett says that memory recall is focused to subjective interpretation reliant on our cultural norms, values and the awareness of the world we have. Memory is believed to work like a camera, we store information like the camera is recording and playing the clip back is like remembering what was recorded; in the same format it was set. Though it doesn’t work like a camera as people construct and store information in a manner that makes it understanding to them. People do this to information by trying to put it in our schemas. Schemas can also question the reliability of eyewitness testimony, as they can cause distortion to memory or unconsciously modify information in order to relate with our current knowledge/ schemas. This can be seen in Bartlett’s study, where participants heard a story and had to recall and tell to another person, like “Chinese Whispers”. Each participant recalled the story in their individual interpretation such as; the passages became shorter, ideas and details of the story were modified. This suggests that each individual person reconstructs our own memories to conform to our personal beliefs about the world. This brings back to the idea that memories aren’t reliable but in fact they have been constructed according to our beliefs and stereotypes. This can also be seen in Allport and Postman’s study where participants were asked to recall details of a picture. The participants stated that the black man was the person who was holding the razor when in reality it was the white man. This demonstrated that our memories are actively being
Eye witness identification involves selecting an accused perpetrator from a police line up, sketch or being at the crime scene during the murder time. After selecting a suspect, witnesses are asked to make a formal statement confirming the ID of the suspect (s) or other surrounding details which the eyewitness can testify in court. Eyewitnesses are always required to testify in court but eyewitnesses with psychological disorders, substance dependancy are at a higher chance of identifying the wrong suspect therefore wrongfully assisting convict the perpetrator in the wrong (Hal Arkowitz, Scott O. Lilienfeld, January 1, 2010).
Post event information is information that has been provided to an individual after they have witnessed an event. Misleading (incorrect) post event information can dramatically alter a person’s recollection of events (Loftus, 1992), and is often referred to as the ‘misinformation effect’ (Loftus, 2005). Misinformation can cause serious errors in recollection, information can be given deliberately or, more commonly, accidentally. This may happen through police interviews or general enquiries after the witnessed event has taken place. A prime example of this can be found in Gabbert et al., (2003) study. Gabbert investigated the effect of post event discussion on the accuracy of eye witness testimony; where participants
1. Philosophical analysis is an essential tool for the improvement of our critical thinking skills.
The two interviews conducted were focused on the children of Italian immigrants who settled in Calumet. From their testimony the advantages and disadvantages of using oral history as a primary sources were evident. The advantages of using oral history is that their accounts are first hand experiences. Another advantage is their responses are unfiltered to the questions asked without having time to formulate an answer. The combination of these advantages allows for the individual to give an authentic response to questions about their experiences, rather than formulate a well thought out written response.