Memory, Learning & Eyewitness Testimony

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Memory, Learning & Eyewitness Testimony

Please help me with the following scenario and questions:

Scenario and Questions:

Human memory is fallible. Think back to the sniper attacks in Washington DC a few years ago; witnesses repeatedly stated to law enforcement officers that they recalled seeing a "white van" "white box truck" or "cream colored van," however, in the end, it was determined that all these witnesses were wrong in their recollection. This caused a great deal of problems in solving the case-as police were busy looking for the wrong vehicles. More than one witness also stated that they saw the perpetrator and it was a "white male," when in fact it was two black males.

1. Given what you have learned on memory from the chapter this week, how do you think that this could have occurred?

The text described several types of techniques that many people use to enhance their memory.

2. Do you use any of the techniques described in the text? If so, which of those methods do you use? If not, what methods do you use for remembering facts, people, places or things?

In the 1980`s, the psychological community developed two opposing theories regarding people who had been through abuse or trauma and the occurrence of repressed memories. One was that people who had been through abusive or traumatic events could have memories that would resurface from their subconscious later in their lives. The other theory was that it was because therapists "planted" these memories in vulnerable patients who were undergoing therapy. Many people were brought to trial because of another person`s "repressed memory" of events in their childhood that resurfaced later in their adulthood. Some of the charges were later overturned when it was learned that some of the victims` memories appeared to be "planted" by therapists. In other cases, the charges remained.

3. How do you think, we as a society, should go forward from here regarding both eyewitness testimony and repressed memories in court procedures? (200-300 words)

Thank you.

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