Memory Is a Constructive and Dynamic System Rather Than a Passive Mechanism for Recording External Information. Evaluate This Claim, Making Reference to Research Findings.

1497 Words Apr 22nd, 2011 6 Pages
Exploring Psychology

Memory is a constructive and dynamic system rather than a passive mechanism for recording external information. Evaluate this claim, making reference to research findings.

The concept that the memory is a constructive and dynamic system was originally introduced by Sir Frederic Bartlett, in the 1920’s. According to Bartlett, social factors influence one’s ability to remember, and in turn, can either change a person’s perception of a specific memory or distort the original memory. As opposed to the memory being a ‘passive mechanism’ which indicates that the brain can store data and facts which can later be recalled without distortion and remain as they were when they were first encoded.

Bartlett suggests
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Cognitive interview skills have been invented to combat such a constructive and dynamic system which our memory is built on. These theories are called “context reinstatement”, which is a technique used that puts a person’s thoughts back to their physical surroundings so that these senses can stimulate certain memories. “Recalling everything”, is a technique that encourages a person to remember every detail of an event, whether they believe it to be relevant or not which, in turn, can lead to the retrieval of important and factual information. “Recalling in different temporal orders”, uses the technique of reversal retrieval. This method asks a person to remember the events in reverse order which puts more emphasis on remembering the facts, as this is not a natural way of thinking it forces information to be recalled. Finally, the last method is called “changing perspective” which asks a person to recall the events from a different perspective other than their own. This encourages them to think in more detail and again encourages more information to be retrieved (Brace, 2007, p126).

All these exercises have been created to help stimulate the brain into remembering and all work on the basis that for our memories to be retrieved it is essential that we relate past experiences to specific events. Without this stimulus our mind would not be able to retrieve memories that have been stored