Suggestibility and Human Memory Essay

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Suggestibility in human memory is considered as the phenomenon called the misinformation effect. The misinformation effect occurs when the misleading information influence a person’s memory of the witnessed event and change how that person describes that event later. Moreover, the misleading information in this effect is referred to as misleading postevent information (MPI) (Goldstein, 2008). Loftus and her colleagues contribute a lot to the early studies of misinformation effect. In one of the classical misinformation experiments (Loftus, Miller, & Burns, 1978), participants first saw a slide show of a car accident and one of the sildes depicted a car at a stop sign. Participants in the experimental group got the misleading…show more content…
Those participants who receive correct or neutral information in the intervening questions had much more accurate memories. This effect is highly related to real world life especially the area of eyewitness testimony. Many researchers have put a lot of effort on this phenomenon and proposed different explainatioon of it. The original interpretation of the misinformation effect was the memory trace replacement hypothesis. Loftus and her colleagues (1978) argued that the memory trace was replaced or overwritten by the misleading information. According to this explanation, the original memories were formed during the original experiencing and memory traces were created for them. Presentation of the misleading information, such as a yield sign, would create a new memory trace and replaced the original traces – the stop sign. In other words, the original traces were updated. Therefore, when the participants were asked to describe the event, they were accessing the updated but mistaken trace containing the misinformation. Overall speaking, the memory trace replacement hypothesis suggested that the misinformation effect was dued to memory impairment. Later research provided contranst evidence to this interpreatation. In one of the studies(Chandler, Gargano, & Holt, 2001), two stories contained some critical obejcts such as a brand of coffee were preseneted to the paricitpants. The misinformation
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