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Social Influence and Forgetting

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What are your thoughts on the content of this discussion below as it relates to cultural and social influence? Do you agree or disagree? Why

This person will discuss the role of cultural and social influence on two of the following: eyewitness testimony, memory distortion, source memory, or recovered memories. In addition this person will discuss why is it sometimes important to forget what has been learned.

This is their discussion:

Eyewitness testimony is a legal term. It refers to an account given by people of an event they have witnessed. For example they may be required to give a description at a trail of a robbery or a road accident someone has seen. This includes identification of perpetrators, details of the crime scene etc. Eyewitness testimony is an important area of research in cognitive psychology and human memory. Jury tend to pay close attention to eyewitness testimony and generally find it a reliable source of information.

While the study of cultural influences in memory is in its infancy, particularly in terms of neural measures, initial studies provide strong evidence that attentional, emotional, and object-based processes differ across cultural groups. A fine line distinguishes the domain of memory from these related processes. For example, memory formation and retrieval depend critically on attention to features of information during encoding and the relevant cues during retrieval. Furthermore, cultural preferences for object versus context, individual versus group-based information, or different emotional states will certainly influence the aspects of experiences that are incorporated into memories, and the component sub processes used to store and retrieve these memories.

Sometimes, we may actively work to forget memories, especially those of traumatic or disturbing events or experiences. The two basic forms of motivated forgetting are: suppression, a conscious form of forgetting, and repression, an unconscious form of forgetting. However, the concept of repressed memories is not universally accepted by all psychologists. One of the problems with repressed memories is that it is difficult, if not impossible, to scientifically study whether or not a memory has been repressed. Also note that mental activities such as rehearsal and remembering are important ways of strengthening a memory, and memories of painful or traumatic life events are far less likely to be remembered, discussed or rehearsed.

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I would agree with the fact that cultural and social influences strongly affect one's memory or recall, due to the fact that there are indeed differing methodologies and processes by which ...

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Cultural and Social Influence and Forgetting

What are your thoughts on the content of this discussion below as it relates to cultural and social influence? Do you agree or disagree? Why

This person will discuss the role of cultural and social influence on two of the following: eyewitness testimony, memory distortion, source memory, or recovered memories. In addition this person will discuss why is it sometimes important to forget what has been learned.

This is their discussion:

I have always found eyewitness testimony very interesting. During my law enforcement career, I knew I had to be very careful when questioning witnesses, especially when I became an investigator. I made it standard practice to question witnesses separately to avoid "contaminating" another witness's statement and to document everything that was said during the interview. This helped to eliminate some of the misleading information that Whitman (2011) referred to in our text. From a cultural and social standpoint, eyewitness testimonies can be influenced by misleading information, which "alters the accuracy of recall for specific details of the original event" (Whitman, 2011).

Recovered memories are another area of interest to me. I always contemplated whether someone could actually block out a memory, only to have something trigger it later in life. How accurate could those memories be if so? It appears that there is reason for concern here. According to Whitman (2011), many researchers and professional agencies have cautioned practitioners about the dangers of believing in repressed memories and memory enhanced techniques, even calling the practice of recovering memories unethical behavior.

I have learned that forgetting is actually a necessary part of the memory process. When we forget, it is actually a process of replacing one memory with another. This is how we gain additional knowledge as learners. What we have learned previously is enhanced with new information, which essentially replaces the old.

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