Essay On Memory Mistakes

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We all would like to think that our memory is infallible. The truth of the situation, though, is that our brains all make mistakes. Some of these mistakes are for the better and some are for the worse. Scientists have found that humans generally make seven memory failures. Some of these failures occur over time, while others are affected by other people. Four common memory failures are transience, absentmindedness, blocking, and memory misattribution. Transience is when a memory is forgotten over time. Forgetting a memory occurs drastically at first and then tapers off. Transience is thought to occur because either the memory isn’t completely encoded or because a person hasn’t thought about the memory in a while. For these reasons, transience affects the storage part of the memory process. Absentmindedness is when a person forgets a stimulus due to a lapse in attention or divided attention. Prospective…show more content…
While law enforcement seized the suspect, Timothy McVeigh, quickly after the tragedy, they believed that there was a second suspect. After an artist made a sketch of the John Doe a witness came forward saying that they had seen the John Doe with McVeigh while renting his van. Later, though, they found that the John Doe that was supposedly McVeigh’s partner was actually a costumer that had been at the body shop the day after McVeigh had been there. This is an example of how misattribution can affect the judicial system (Baddeley, Conway, & Schacter, 2001). An example of misattribution in a research setting is found in the Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm. In this experiment, participants were told to study a string of words that are similar to a single word that is not presented. When given a new list with old words and new words, some related to the list and some unrelated, participants believed that they had previously seen the “lure” words (Baddeley, Conway, & Schacter,
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