After reading through a large number of articles this week, I have picked a subject and started writing an outline. I originally thought of writing about different memorization techniques and comparing them with one another to see which is best for the situation. This past week however, I came across an article titled How (And Why) Emotion Enhances the Subjective Sense of Recollection. The two authors, Elizabeth Phelps and Tali Sharot talk about how emotions play a significant role in memory and recollection. They observed that emotional events cause the subjects to vividly remember them even though, most of the time, the details they remember are inaccurate. This got me thinking about Professor Bloom’s story about those who witnessed 9/11. 9/11 survivors gave their recollection of the bombings a few days after 9/11/2001 and then a few years after September 11th, 2001. Their stories and the details in those stories changed significantly even though the survivors had tremendous confidence in their memory of that day.
The reason for this is because those survivors had such strong emotions which caused them to unknowingly distort facts in their head as time went on. The study conducted by Phelps and Sharot showed that this phenomena is not an isolated incident. Emotion can improve memory accuracy to an extent but it enhances recollective experience much more than memory accuracy.
Interestingly enough, Teacher Margaret sent me an articles about how emotions help students learn better and retain information. I think it would be interesting to have different perspectives on how emotions affect memory so I will start search for how memory positively affects the retention of facts and specific events. I’m excited to see both perspectives and decide which one I agree with more after doing more thorough research. I’m hoping I won’t have to choose and can find some way to balance the two.