Flashbulb Memory - Controversy: Special Mechanism Hypothesis - Supporting Evidence

Supporting Evidence

Data concerning people's recollections of the Reagan assassination attempt provide support for the special-mechanism hypothesis. People had highly accurate accounts of the event and had lost very few details regarding the event several months after it occurred. Additionally, an experiment examining emotional state and word valence found that people are better able to remember irrelevant information when they are in a negative, shocked state. There is also neurological evidence in support of a special mechanism view. Emotionally neutral autobiographical events, such as a party, were compared with two emotionally arousing events: Princess Diana's death, and Mother Teresa's death. Long-term memory for the contextual details of an emotionally neutral autobiographical event was significantly related to medial temporal lobe function and correlated with frontal lobe function, whereas there was no hint of an effect of either medial temporal lobe or frontal lobe function on memory for the two flashbulb events. These results indicate that there might be a special neurobiological mechanism associated with emotionally arousing flashbulb memories.

Read more about this topic:  Flashbulb Memory, Controversy: Special Mechanism Hypothesis

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