flashbulb memory

Quick Reference

An unusually vivid, richly detailed, and long-lasting memory for the circumstances surrounding a dramatic event. The standard example is the assassination of the US president John F. Kennedy in 1963: most people who were adults at the time have flashbulb memories of where they were and what they were doing when they first heard about this event. [So called because is has the subjective quality of something indelibly recorded as by a flash camera, although research has shown that in reality it is often less than perfectly accurate]

Subjects: Psychology.

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