5 1 discussion memory and the real world

Select one of the optional articles featured in the module resources (attached) and provide a brief critique of the experiment and its application to the real world. You should be sure to discuss any problems with the methodology of the experiment or any problems with the interpretations of the results. Additionally, consider how the findings of the study can be applied to real-world issues. How could findings from the experiment be applied to develop policies or procedures to improve human memory in different professional settings? What strengths or weaknesses in human memory do the experiments highlight that would be important for professional disciplines?
In your responses to your peers, examine how your suggested applications are similar to or different from theirs. Also, consider how the different experiments you read about help us to get a full picture of how human memory works.
To complete this assignment, review the Discussion Rubric document.


I chose the article Make My Memory: How Advertising Can Change Our Memories of the Past (Braun, Ellis, & Loftus, 2002). The researchers conducted two different experiments to test their theory that referencing a childhood experience (that may or may not have occurred) could change their past memories of the experience. For experiment one, researchers examined whether autobiographically focused advertising directly affected how participants recalled a prior childhood experience (i.e., shaking Mickey Mouseâ€s hand). I thought the methodology of this experiment was carried out in a way that kept the integrity of the experiment. In week one, participants were given a list of 20 childhood events and asked if they recall these events happening to them. A week later, half of the participants were given a Disney ad, while others received a control ad, by another experimenter. Later, participants were asked to describe how the ad made them feel using a rating scale. After another short task, the first experimenter came back in and had the participants “redo” the first weekâ€s childhood events questionnaire again, due to an error in coding. After another distraction task, participants were given a Disney memories questionnaire by a third experimenter. For experiment one, it was important that the researchers utilized different experimenters to present the different tasks. I believe this helped the participants not to associate any particular part of the experiment with one experimenter and helped to keep the results as accurate as possible. For experiment two, researchers followed the same procedures of experiment one but changed the characters to ones that participants would not have encountered at Disneyland (i.e., Ariel and Bugs Bunny). It was interesting that some participants knew that Bugs Bunny was not a Disney character but still recalled meeting him at Disneyland (Braun et al., 2002).
I found this article easy to read and follow. Typically, I have a hard time interpreting the results of studies or understanding them in a way that I can relate to in my life. However, with both of these experiments, I was able to understand the interpretation of them. I did not find any issues with the interpretation or methodology of the experiments. I thought it was wise that the researchers excluded participants who initially recalled shaking hands with the characters, as this would skew the results.
The researchers wanted to examine the influence of autobiographically focused advertising that marketers had started to utilize. They wondered if advertisers could influence or change consumers memories by focusing more on the feeling of a product or service. With experiment two, this type of situation could be used in marketing strategies. Participants recalled shaking the hand of Ariel and Bugs Bunny even though there was no possibility that they had done so just from the mere suggestion of it (Braun et al., 2002). If advertisers used “for sure” suggestions to consumers, consumers could change their memories to follow the suggestions of the advertisers, thus, increasing the sales of the advertiserâ€s products.
I am not sure how the results of this one study could be used to improve human memory in professional settings. However, the results could help to improve the polices and procedures of the way individuals are questioned such as by police. The results of the study indicate that with certain individuals merely suggesting an experience can cause them to change their memory of the event, especially if the memory reminds the individual of a happier time. If anything can be adapted to help human memory in a professional setting, it would be for professionals to be aware of the wording they use. For example, if police were questioning a witness for information on a subject, it would be important not to suggest things such as asking if the individual was wearing a dark hoodie or had facial hair. This implies that the police already have had someone indicate this and it may change the memory of the witness being questioned. Policies and procedures should be in place that has specific ways or protocols for the way things are worded in police departments or any professional setting that requires professionals to question others. Wording is a key element in our memories, just like these two experiments indicated.

Braun, K., Ellis, R., & Loftus, E. (2002). Make my memory: How advertising can change our memories of the past. Psychology & Marketing, 19(1), 1-23. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.snhu.edu/docvi…

I chose the article, “Make my memory: How advertising can change our memories”. This article discusses how marketing ads influence a personâ€s memories. The first experiment used 107 undergraduates from a Midwestern university and half of those received a Disney ad, while the other half received a non-Disney ad. After receiving the ad, they went through a series of questionnaires. The first one was a list of twenty childhood events. They were asked whether these events happened to them when they were ten years of age or younger. The following week they were asked to image themselves experiencing the situation in the ad. They were given a few minutes to write about it and how it made them feel. Shortly after, they were asked to fill out the first survey again. About fifteen minutes later (after a distracting task), they were asked about their memories.
The results of this study conclude that people are more confident that they experienced an advertisement-suggested event as a child. However, the article quotes that “the paradox of offering a retrieval cue is that it can help access both true and false memories” (Braun, Ellis, & Loftus, 2002). The issue with the methodology and the experiment is that it is hard to prove if someone actually remembers an event that occurred or if the advertisement is giving making them think they remember something that really didnâ€t happen.
In the second experiment, researchers looked to see whether false information in an advertisement could actually make them believe it happened. The participants included 167 psychology undergraduate students at a Western university. The same methods were used from the first experiment with a few changes. One of the biggest differences, was who they used as characters. In the first experiment they asked if participants remembered shaking hands with Mickey Mouse. In the second experiment, they asked participants if they remember meeting and shaking hands with characters such as Bugs Bunny and Ariel. Both characters were not affiliated with Disney at the time the participants were in their childhood. Bugs Bunny is a Warner Bros. character and Ariel had not been introduced yet. The results of this experiment show that the participants were still confident that they had met or shaken hands with Bugs Bunny and Ariel.
These types of autobiographical ads have strengths and weaknesses. One thing that I think could be considered a strength, but also an ethical consideration, is that most of these types of ads bring out positive memories. Unfortunately, some of these ads bring up false memories. I still donâ€t think they are trying to manipulate peopleâ€s thoughts for a negative reason. Mostly, they want to bring out nostalgia and product profit. The weaknesses or limitations is that the participants were solely focused on the ad in a controlled environment. They were asked to pay close attention and think about what they saw. In everyday life, we are watching television and ads come on tv. That is the prime time to get up and move around (bathroom break, snacks, etc). We arenâ€t as focused on what is going on during commercials (well at least Iâ€m not). Also, these types of experiments would have to be altered depending on the age of the participant group. Different generations will have memories than other groups.
In a real world setting or different professions, these types of experiments have been used to help patients that suffered from a traumatic event as a child. Being able to recall these memories buried deep can begin the healing process. There is a thin line where false/true memories lie. I am currently on vacation (visiting family because we live out of state), and I was talking to my mom about this discussion this week. She is 65 and I was asking her about her own personal memories and how far back she can remember things. She still have vague memories from when she was about five years old. She mentioned two stories from her childhood and could describe where she lived at the time and the name of the friends she had. Both events that she described were somewhat traumatic. Both involved someone getting slightly hurt (a friend fell and needed stitches and the other one was minor as well). I wonder if memories stand out because something eventful happened? For me I can remember back to when I was about 4-5 years old. Most of them are vague. My mom has a ton of pictures that are boxed up from when she was a child and through my childhood. I wonder sometimes if some of the memories I have are based on me remembering the pictures that were taken or the actual event that took place.

Braun, K. A., Ellis, R., & Loftus, E. F. (2002). Make my memory: How advertising can change our memories of the past. Psychology and Marketing, 19(1), 1-23. doi:10.1002/mar.1000
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