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Affect and Accuracy in Recall : Studies of 'Flashbulb' Memories - Eugene Winograd

Affect and Accuracy in Recall

Studies of 'Flashbulb' Memories

By: Eugene Winograd (Editor), Ulric Neisser (Editor)

Hardcover Published: 30th October 1992
ISBN: 9780521401883
Number Of Pages: 328

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The vividness with which we recall unexpected and emotional events has long been the subject of theoretical speculation; William James said that they "leave a scar upon the cerebral tissues." For many Americans, the stunning news that the Space Shuttle Challenger had exploded gave rise to just such memories. In this fourth volume in the Emory Symposia in Cognition series, researchers who have systematically studied recollections of Challenger present their findings. Ulric Neisser and Nicole Harsch discovered that such "flashbulb memories" can be quite mistaken, even in confident subjects; Steen Larsen's diary study of his own memory also undermined the notion that flashbulb memories are necessarily accurate; John Bohannon and Victoria Symons found evidence for a relation between the affective quality and the consistency of Challenger memories; Amye Warren and Jeffery Swartwood conducted a study of such memories in children.
Although Affect and Accuracy in Recall begins with the space shuttle explosion, it also addresses broader issues. Are flashbulb memories fundamentally different from other forms of recall? Do emotion and arousal strengthen memory in geneeral, or only in certain circumstances? If so, by what physiological mechanisms? What functions might such memories serve? Why do traumatic events sometimes produce heightened recall and sometimes lead instead to repression? The sophisticated discussions of these issues, presented by distinguished experimental psychologists, are evidence of rapid recent progress in the study of autobiographical memory. The first and last chapters are both summaries, but of different kinds. The editors begin by describing the common themes that run through the volume, and William Brewer concludes with a detailed analysis of research on flashbulb memories, from the original definition of these recollections by Brown and Kulik in 1977 to the present.

Industry Reviews

"...a important book that will be used extensively by researchers concerned with memory in natural circumstances. It contains excellent reviews of the effects of emotion on memory, developmental aspects of flashbulb memories, and the neurobiology of memory and concludes with spirited discussion of methodological and theoretical issues." Martin A. Conway, Science "...well-written...well-balanced...the subject matter is inherently interesting to a broad audience...I strongly recommend this book. Efforts at studying and conceptualizing the interaction between affect and memory are not easy to find, and the authors of this book have made a scholarly contribution to this scientifically and clinically important area." Nathan Zilberg, Imagination, Cognition and Personality

List of contributors
Empirical Studies
Phantom flashbulbs: false recollections of hearing the news about Challenger
Potential flashbulbs: memories of ordinary news as the baseline
Flashbulb memories: confidence, consistency, and quantity
Developmental Studies
Developmental issues in flashbulb memory research: children recall the Challenger event Amye
Preschool children's memories of personal circumstances: the fire alarm study
Emotion and Memory
A proposed neurobiological basis for regulating memory storage for significant events
Remembering the details of emotional events
Do flashbulb memories differ from other types of emotional memories?
Why do traumatic experiences sometimes produce good memory (flashbulbs) and sometimes no memory (repression)?
Theoretical Issues
Special versus ordinary memory mechanisms in the genesis of flashbulb memories
Remembering personal circumstances: a functional analysis
Constraints on memory
The theoretical and empirical status of the flashbulb memory hypothesis
Author index
Subject index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521401883
ISBN-10: 0521401887
Series: Emory Symposia in Cognition
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 328
Published: 30th October 1992
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.77 x 16.51  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.68