What Could Have Changed Mike's Story?

Words: 950
Pages: 4

Quentin Watson
April 29, 2015
Cognitive Psychology
Dr. Royce Simpson The misinformation effect happens when our recall of episodic memories becomes less accurate because of post-event information.(E. Bruce Goldstein Cognitive psychology. 4th edition. In the article Misinformation and New Memory: The Creation of New Memories by Elizabeth F. Loftus and Hunter G. Hoffman, a very good example was provided for the misinformation effect. The example was about a man, named Mike, who witnessed a robbery and later questioned by the police. Mike witnessed the man grabbing a hand calculator and a hammer as he left the store. The police was contacted immediately. While the police was in route, Mike had a conversation with another customer, Maria, about
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Mike reported the robber taking a screw to police. What could have changed Mike’s story? Yes, a screw driver was a part of maria’s story, but a hammer was part of Mike’s original story. Mike’s was not lying to the police, he was just a victim of the misinformation effect. One of four things could have happened to make. He might have been unaware of the fact that after he heard Maria’s story he could have stated what he heard unconsciously. Second scenario, he could have remember the screw driver and the hammer, but he mad more faith in Maria’s answer than he had in his own. Third scenario, he could have forgotten that the thief grabbed the hammer and that Maria mentioned a screwdriver, and just simply guessed screwdriver after the police asked him did the thief leave with a screwdriver or a hammer. Fourth scenario, He could have had hammer set in stone on in short term memory, but after Maria …show more content…
The research was based off, obviously, how misleading information can impair memories of the original event. For Mike, this meant replacing that hammer that he saw with a screwdriver. Research first begun because it bother people, especially researcher, how memory that is already stored could be altered. It challenged other researchers theories of once memories are store, they are permanently stored. Two researchers, McCloskey and Zaragoza, claimed that permanent memories are not altered. These two researchers argued that there was not misinformation effect, and in Mike’s case he either did not see a hammer, but remember hearing about a screw driver, he saw both a hammer and a screwdriver, or he remembered neither tool, but just guessed screw driver. McCloskey and Zaragoza conducted a test that excluded the misinformation effect as a possibility. McCloskey and Zaragoza could this study by stating in Mike’s case, again, whose is to say that Mike had a memory of a hammer and if that memory was not stored it was not altered. The police asked Mike did he see a Hammer or Screwdriver. He could have simply guessed. The article stated that McCloskey and Zaragoza was right about this finding. Two different researcher approached the same example in a different way. Tversky and Tuchin asked yes and no question for the objects instead on giving the witness a opinion between a screwdriver or a hammer. The study asked