Memory Recall performance
Psychology research has shown that memory is prone to change. It can be influenced to give different information after an incident or during the occurrence of the incident. The information encountered after an incident has occurred is called the post-event information or PEI. It is encountered when people have shared information with others. The memory is distorted by other formation which occurs after the event. Studies show that memories are not correct records of experiences.
It is very difficult for individuals to approximate details such as time speed and others. Despite their implication on judges and juries, the eyewitnesses to the occurrence, in several ways are not perfect. Perceptions are affected by factors such as lighting, distance, and distraction; Memory fails as time goes and because interference; and the possibility to regain memory can be biased by questioning, line-ups and photographs. Eyewitness memories are built and then often rebuilt on the basis of the seen event and information obtained after the event (Conway, 1997).
Memory-based information and witness is prone to distortion by external factors. It affects one’s ability to correctly recall the actual content. PEI has brought a great challenge to investigators when trying to assess how reliable, credible and accurate the witness collection (Hess, 1990). The time between the occurrence of the event and giving testimony, the eye witness of a robbery may have been in touch with misleading information from a news report, talking to other witness or even questionnaires by the police.
The incorrect information may be from difficulty to recognize faces, words, and images. Experiments that have been conducted to explain the misinformation effect, by exposing participants to stories similar to events using media, viewing altered types of scene, then followed by recall activity. It enabled the study of the ability of participants to correctly recall the task after exposing to misinformation. ( Hess,1990).
It is acknowledged that witnesses incorporate misleading information into the event. Therefore, visual scenes with misleading images may make a good memory of actual content inaccessible. Faceless crimes depend on audited information and biases is experienced. (Lovelace,1990).
The research on the consistence of memory has shown that wrong PEI affect accurate recall of occurrence. However, existing research is limited to visual information and testimony of eyewitnesses. It is aimed to study the implications of PEI on the ability to recall auditory information from conversations. It shows that the ability to recall wordings from calls, are not widely affected by visual images since they are integrated and stored in the memory better than the visible occurrence where images may not be clear. Thus, misinformation in auditory PEI is not under the great influence. (Conway, 1997).
The participants were 50 students who were shown 6films of a conversation of 3 persons planning to steal an ATM. Attached to the scripts were 15 characteristics related to the investigation. It included the names of the thieves, place of occurrence, dangerous weapons, vehicle codes, clothes colour, and time, what was used for conversation among others. After one week, half of the group were exposed to PEI and the others were not. They were questioned concerning the features they were given.
Another group, open to PEI were asked to listen to another type of recording with altered information and thereafter, were asked the same questions group 1 did. The records estimates are; 10.5, 9.8, 8.5, 7.4, 6.0, 5.9, 4.2. The difference in value is due to distortion in the memory of the participants and also bias factors in which the participants are not sure of the exact names and change of clothing. Therefore, it is clear that misinformation brings change and the outcome is not true. Lastly, the human mind cannot be like tape and is prone to changes.
British Retail Consortium., & Stationery Office (Great Britain). (2003). Product recall guidelines. London: TSO.
Conway, M. A. (1997) Hess, T. M. (1990. Cognitive models of memory. London: MIT Press.
Hess, T. M. (1990). Aging and cognition: Knowledge organization and utilization. Amsterdam: North-Holland.
International Symposium on Attention and Performance, Umiltà, C. A., & Moscovitch, M. (1994).
Attention and performance: Conscious and nonconscious information processing. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.
Lovelace, E. A. (1990). Aging and cognition: Mental processes, self-awareness, and interventions. Amsterdam: North-Holland.
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