CLOA - evaluate how emotion may affect a cognitive process (memory) Flashcards Preview

IB Psychology HL > CLOA - evaluate how emotion may affect a cognitive process (memory) > Flashcards

Flashcards in CLOA - evaluate how emotion may affect a cognitive process (memory) Deck (12):

flashbulb memory

- a vivid memory of the circumstances in which one learns of a very surprising/consequential emotional event
- NOT the event itself but the memory of its reception context
- based on the idea that a neurological framework in the amygdala is activated to enhance memory formation

Main study: Brown and Kulik (1977)
Counter study: Neisser and Harsch (1992)


how are FBMs different from other memories?

- more vivid
- last longer
- more consistent
- more accurate


how are FBMs maintained?

- overt rehearsal (discussions with others, etc)
- covert rehearsal (thinking about the event, etc)


characteristic details FBMs may contain

- place (where the event happened)
- ongoing activity (what you were doing)
- informant (who broke the news)
- own affect (how did I feel?)
- other affect (how did other people feel?)
- aftermath (what did I do next? what happened in the long run?)


strengths of FBM theory

- supports Craik and Lockhart's (1972) LoP: emotional events are more likely to be processed more deeply and therefore remembered
- to some extent, FBM can explain why very emotional memories are often more vividly remembered over time
- generated many empirical studies
- empirical support for the idea that emotional events are better remembered than non-emotional events (but psychologists note that the event should have specifi„c personal relevance)


Brown and Kulik (1977) - Aim

to investigate FBM


Brown and Kulik (1977) - Process

- American participants were asked questions regarding 10 events
- 9 of the 10 events were mostly assassinations of famous Americans
- the 10th event was a self-selected event of personal significance


Brown and Kulik (1977) - Findings

- assassination of JFK had highest number of FBMs (90% of participants)
- African Americans had more FBMs than Caucasians for civil rights/social justice leaders (eg. Martin Luther King)
- most participants recalled personal FBMs (e.g. death of a parent)


Brown and Kulik (1977) - Evaluation

Williams et al. (2008):
- Brown & Kulik (1977) identified 2 important determinants of FBMs (event importance & emotionality)
- but surprise is not well supported
- some properties are also not well supported (permanence, consistency) while others are supported (confidence, vividness)


counter study against FBM

Neisser and Harsch (1992):
- investigated people’s memory accuracy of the Space Shuttle Challenger crash
- participants were very confident their memories were correct
- researchers found that 40 per cent of the participants had inaccurate memories


weaknesses of FBM theory

- FBM cannot explain why these memories are rarely more accurate than any other memory (except perhaps for some details)
- as FBM are ‚"reconstructed memories"ƒ where the emotional importance of the event may influence how the memory is reconstructed (particularly if it's often overtly rehearsed, or if it doesn't have much personal relevance

Neisser (1982):
- memories are so clear because the event itself is rehearsed and reconsidered after the event
- what is actually being remembered is not a
memory of an event but a memory of a story about an event
- people remember their reconstruction rather than the actual event
- we end up not remembering the actual information accurately
- thus emotions create inaccuracy in memory



- describe + explain
- include background info/reasons for every point
- give your own judgment and opinion supported by evidence
- while discussing strengths and limitations, make clear comments about its significance, usefulness (e.g. how applicable it is, its usefulness in explaining sth), accuracy

when evaluating a theory/model:
• discuss the extent to which the theory can be universally applied – are the explanations culturally- or gender-specific?
• evaluate strengths and limitations of methodology
• judge validity and reliability
• discuss sampling method and relate to the issue of generalizability of findings
• assess if the study has cultural, ethical, and gender considerations

Decks in IB Psychology HL Class (60):