Flashbulb Memories

By Martin Conway

© 1994 – Psychology Press

150 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9781138877054
pub: 2015-06-25
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780863773532
pub: 1994-12-14
US Dollars$90.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

This book provides a state-of-the-art review and critical evaluation of research into 'flashbulb' memories. The opening chapters explore the 'encoding' view of flashbulb memory formation and critically appraise a number of lines of research that have opposed this view. It is concluded that this research does not provide convincing evidence for the rejection of the encoding view.

Subsequent chapters review and appraise more recent work which has generally found in favour of the flashbulb concept. But this research too, does not provide unequivocal support for the encoding view of flashbulb memory formation. Evidence from clinical studies of flashbulb memories, particularly in post-traumatic stress disorder and related emotional disturbances, is then considered. The clinical studies provide the most striking evidence of flashbulb memories and strongly suggest that these arise in response to intense affective experiences. Neurobiological models of memory formation are briefly reviewed and one view suggesting that there may be multiple routes to memory formation is explored in detail. From this research it seems possible that there could be a specific route for the formation of detailed and durable memories associated with emotional experiences. In the final chapter a cognitive account of flashbulb memories is outlined. This account is centred on recent plan-based theories of emotion and proposes that flashbulb memories arise in responses to disruptions of personal and cultural plans. This chapter also considers the wider functions of flashbulb memories and their potential role in the formation of generational identity.

Table of Contents

The Flashbulb Memory Hypothesis. The Case Against Flashbulb Memories. Evidence for Flashbulb Memories. 'Real' Flashbulb Memories and Flashbulb Memories Across the Lifespan. The Neurobiology of Flashbulb Memories. Revising the Flashbulb Memory Hypothesis. References.

About the Series

Essays in Cognitive Psychology

Essays in Cognitive Psychology is designed to meet the need for rapid publication of brief volumes in cognitive psychology.

Primary topics include perception, movement and action, attention, memory, mental representation, language and problem solving.

Furthermore, the series seeks to define cognitive psychology in its broadest sense, encompassing all topics either informed by, or informing, the study of mental processes. As such, it covers a wide range of subjects including computational approaches to cognition, cognitive neuroscience, social cognition, and cognitive development, as well as areas more traditionally defined as cognitive psychology.

Each volume in the series makes a conceptual contribution to the topic by reviewing and synthesizing the existing research literature, by advancing theory in the area, or by some combination of these missions.

The principal aim is that authors provide an overview of their own highly successful research program in an area.

Volumes also include an assessment of current knowledge and identification of possible future trends in research.

Each book is a self-contained unit supplying the advanced reader with a well-structured review of the work described and evaluated.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Cognitive Psychology