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Psy 202 - Critical Thinking Assignment

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Melissa Holguin                                                                                     Wednesday 2/28/18

PSY 202                                                                                                  Professor Tashman

CRITICAL THINKING ASSIGNMENT #1

        Eyewitness testimonies can sometimes be the matter of a life or death situation. Because of this it is pretty much crucial that our memories are as accurate as can be, thus the importance of how memories are encoded, store, and retrieved. Those who are in the position of having to deal with eyewitness testimonies can face the risk of faulty memory. How do we know for sure if we can fully rely on our memory?

        Encoding is referred to as the “process of getting information into our memory banks.” In order to remember something, we need to make sure that the information we are receiving is being given to us in a usable format. Much of our everyday experiences aren’t encoded to begin with unless it is a specific experience that stands out to us. Even then, only bits and pieces of the experience get encoded into our memory. In an eyewitness testimony this can either work out in a positive or negative manner. Positively, since most events that require an eyewitness testimony involve a standout moment, chances are those specific memories will most likely be encoded. Negatively, since most events that require an eyewitness testimony also probably involve moments that caught those involved by surprise, it is also likely that the nervousness or surprising effect of the moment may have caused the experience to not be encoded.

        Storage is referred to as the “process of keeping information in memory.” Something to keep in mind is that we tend to make memories our own depending on how we viewed an experience. This means that the format in which we store a memory can be stored as two different memories by two different people depending on the way each individual interpreted the experience.

        Retrieval is referred to as the “reactivation or reconstruction of experiences from our memory stores.” A problem in retrieval is that our memory is described as being reconstructive, meaning that it is often altered when we recollect it to fit our beliefs and expectations. Some reasons why we tend to forget different things when trying to retrieve information is that our memories are there, somewhere in our heads, but have trouble accessing them.

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