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Flashbulb memories and catastrophic events.

This solution provides an excellent description of what flashbulb memories are, and why catastrophic events are so good at eliciting them. The question though is, why can you remember what you were doing when you first noticed these events. This is pertinent, and can be explained by the fact that flashbulb memories are influenced by five categories of information.

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Why can you remember what you were doing when catastrophes occurred, such as the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, the Challenger disaster, or the assassination of John F. Kennedy?

The main reason that these events are very memorable is because they are what Robinson-Riegler and Robinson-Riegler (2008) call a flashbulb memory. A flashbulb memory is "a detailed, vivid, and confidently held memory for the circumstances surrounding when you first heard some startling bit of news" (Robinson-Riegler & Robinson-Riegler, 2008, p. 321). It is because events like these are very vivid and detailed, and even though they are brief in duration, they are very surprising and produce ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides an excellent description of what flashbulb memories are, and why catastrophic events are so good at eliciting them. The question though is, why can you remember what you were doing when you first noticed these events. This is pertinent, and can be explained by the fact that flashbulb memories are influenced by five categories of information.

Reference

Robinson-Riegler, G., and Robinson-Riegler, B. (2008). Cognitive psychology: Applying the science of mind. (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.

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