For the most part, our memories serve us well, allowing us to make sense of our past and present world. In fact, and according to Loftus (2003), we are the sum of our memories; what we have thought, what we have been told, and what we believe. Not only are we shaped by our memories, but our memories are shaped by who we are. Loftus argues that we “seem to reinvent our memories, and in doing so, we become the person of our own imagination” (p. 872).
Loftus argues that memories are malleable and subject to distortion and suggestion. She makes the following observations about eyewitness accounts of crimes:
Misinformation can influence people’s memories when they are in a suggestive fashion or when they talk to other people who give their version of events. Misinformation can sway people when they see biased media coverage about some event that they may have experienced themselves. This phenomenon would ultimately be called the misinformation effect (p. 868).
After completing the unit readings on memory processes, how would you explain the misinformation effect? Specifically discuss how the misinformation effect may be important to your professional or academic life. Refer to and integrate ideas presented in your text and any supplemental readings. Cite outside resources if necessary to make your point.
* attaching article to go with this question
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