The Disapproval of Lotus That All Memories Are Permanent

The Disapproval of Lotus That All Memories Are Permanent

Document details
Category: Psychology and Psychiatry Essay
Subcategory: Neuroscience
Words: 1300
Pages: 2

Introduction Memory is a great artist. For every man and for every woman, it makes the recollection of his or her life a work of art and an unfaithful record. (Maurois, 1929) Memories are events in our daily life that are either retained because they are personally significant or lost because of their insignificance. Retained memories may be of a vivid quality but their accuracy upon retrieval is questionable, containing minor or major errors. Substitution of the Old for the New Loftus (Loftus Loftus,1980) provided evidence disproving the view that all memories are permanent and thus potentially recoverable. It was argued that when people are given new and misleading information about a previously seen incident, they are often unable to remember the original incident accurately and that the "forgetting" observed under these conditions is due to the loss of original memories once new information has been encoded. That is, substitution of the old information for the new has occured. This updating of old memories is assumed to be automatic and has the consequence of removing any previously existing knowledge that is contradicted by the new information. Hence, according to Loftus, forgetfulness is due to a potential loss of memory. A Question of Inaccessibility However, Bekerian and Bowers (1983) and Christiaansen and Ochalek (1983) contended that the original information is not lost from memory, but is merely rendered inaccessible or non-retrievable. Bekerian and Bowers argued that in Loftus's studies, the recognition test items are presented in random order and not in the order in which the queried information occurred in the original slide sequence. Thus the retrieval environment does not closely match the original encoding environment. The misleading information effect may occur because subjects are unable to access the original information effectively under these conditions and instead retrieve the postevent information. They found that if the test reinstated the original environment more fully, subjects are able to access the original information effectively and misled subjects...

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