Emotion and Eyewitness Memory

Robin S. Edelstein, Kristen Weede Alexander, Gail S. Goodman and Jeremy W. Newton

in Memory and Emotion

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780195158564
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199848126 | DOI:

Series: Series in Affective Science

Emotion and Eyewitness                         Memory

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This chapter explores the memory effects of trauma, emotional remembering by children, the long-term durability of emotional memories, and other topics from the perspective of the legal system, asking how eyewitnesses to crimes remember the events they have observed (or, in many cases, the events in which they were victimized). Of special importance here is the question of whether laboratory findings taken as characterizing emotional memory can be reasonably applied to real-life crime situations. Also prominent in this chapter is the special case of memories for childhood sexual abuse, including memories that are apparently lost and then recovered. The chapter discusses the complexity that arises when one tries to assess these memories and also factors (including a tendency toward dissociation, or various forms of psychopathology) that play a role in determining when a traumatic event will be vividly remembered and when that event will (apparently) be forgotten.

Keywords: memory; trauma; legal system; children; eyewitnesses; crimes; sexual abuse; dissociation; psychopathology

Chapter.  17756 words. 

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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