The distorted. The story became noticeably shorter with each

The
study of memory is part of the cognitive process. Reconstruction memory is a
theory of elaborate memory recall in which the act of remembering is influenced
by various other cognitive processes including perception, beliefs and many
others. Bartlett proposed
that memory  are not copies of experience
but rather a reconstruction. Schema is a cognitive framework that helps
organise and interpret information in the brain.

 

 

Bartlett
(1932) conducted a study investigating the effect of schema on memory. He
demonstrated that memory is reconstructive through serial reproduction, where
he told twenty British participants a story called “War of Ghosts” and asked them
to repeatedly recall the story at different time intervals. Results showed that
story which participants was retelling was altered and distorted. The story
became noticeably shorter with each reproduction and participants also change the order to make sense
of the information using relevant schemas and appropriate existing information.
Because schemas can act as detail fillers, relevant schemas helped participants
make sense of the information and fill in gaps with appropriate existing
information. Therefore, it was concluded that pre-existing schema
affected how participants interpreted the information and later recalled the
story. Hence, this shows that memory recall is influenced by our pre-existing
knowledge, that is our schema, which is influenced by our cultural background.

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Another
factor which affected one’s ability to recall things is perception. This is
demonstrated when Loftus et al. (1987) conducted a study to provide support for
the “weapon focus.” Loftus presented subject witnesses with multiple slides showing
an event in a restaurant. The first condition, the no weapon condition, where
subjects saw a customer hand the cashier a check. The second condition was the
weapon condition, where a man points a gun at the cashier instead. Participants
were later asked to identify the man from twenty different photographs and rate
on a scale of one to six where one is a guess and six is very sure on how
confident they were of their identification of the person. Results revealed
that those who witnessed the man emerging in the no weapon condition tended to
be more accurate. This was
explained by the weapon focus. The weapon influenced participant’s perception
of the event, as they tended to direct their attention to the weapon instead of
the person’s face, therefore resulting in the reduction in ability to accurately
recall the person.