Emotions in Psychology

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Category: Philosophy and Psychology

Date Submitted: 11/19/2012 07:47 AM

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The study examined the effects traumatic/impactful events had on memory (more specifically the 9/11 terrorist attacks). Several studies where discussed including ones at Duke University, New York and others nationwide. The studies attempted to measure/see the viability of a person’s memory of an event after time. The results indicated that while some had erosion or misinformation of the event others that where more impacted could remember details as small as the smell of the air, or the clothes they were wearing that day. For these people the event was almost frozen in time like a photograph. The recollection of 9/11 triggered activity in the part of the brain that is known for its role in creating emotional memories (the amygdala). These findings give greater insight into how the brain remembers specific events so vividly and the effects the outside world has on those memories over time.

Multiple studies have been conducted on memories from a traumatic or impactful event (flashbulb memory). They looked at how well the memory could be recalled at a later date. Few though have looked at how the memory declined and compared that rate to that of a normal memory. One of these studies published in the book "Affect and Accuracy in Recall: Studies of 'Flashbulb' Memories'" (1992), compared peoples initial memory of the challenger explosion to their memory of it two and a half years later and found that it deteriorated significantly. This study is the “remember exactly where you were when you heard the news”, it’s the parents story of JFK’s assassination, or there recollection of where they were when Armstrong landed on the moon, it’s our mental scrapbook of the world we live in.

A flashbulb memory (first proposed by psychologists Roger Brown, PhD, and James Kulik, PhD in 1977) is a memory that is so emotionally important for us that it is remembered and recalled as vivid as a photograph. Two psychologists Jennifer Talarico PhD. and...