False Memory Essay

609 Words3 Pages
False Memory
Cognitive Psychology

In false memory experiments, special distractors are variables that are included in a list of the experiment intending to distract the participant. In the false memory experiments there is usually a related distractor and an unrelated distractor (Arnold 2002). The subject is presented with a list of words , directly after the list disappears the subject is shown another list containing original words, related distractor words, and unrelated distractor words; they are asked to recall the words from the original list as either in the sequence or not in the sequence (Noblenet 2009). What happens is that most of the words are related to the distractor, and more than likely the subject thought about the
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With this shock it might be hard for a person to overcome making it hard for them to identify features, or colors correctly. Another problem with eyewitness memory is that sometimes eyewitness’ could have vision problems leaving their testimony to be misleading.
I believe that with certain circumstances an eyewitness testimony should carry weight in a criminal proceeding. For instance if a crime occurred and an eyewitness was present who witnessed the crime and the people who committed the crime and had sufficient evidence similar to your findings I believe it should hold weight. Now if a person has severe vision loss and was a distance away from the crime being committed I don’t believe that their testimony should hold very much weight. It may hold weight to an extent , but the trial should not be centered around this persons testimony. Since our memory is so fragile it is hard to be able to put a person away solely on an eyewitness testimony. Environment plays a huge role in an eyewitness testimony as well. If the lighting is poor, a witness could give a false testimony. If too much time passes between the crime and the trail date, the witness’ testimony could be altered.


Arnold, M. M., & Lindsay, D. S. (2002). Remembering remembering. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 28, 521-529.
Nobel net, May 11, 2009 Retrieved on July 30,2012 From :

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