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Memory Inconsistencies 2 Elizabeth Loftus theory of reconstructive memory proposes that when we try and remember an event we will piece it bit by bit from our memories to reconstruct that event However gaps in our memory can distort our recollection of events and our tendency is to fill in those gaps with our own plausible information thus creating memories that never really occurred These ideas imply the high malleability of our own memories and the likelihood of not being able to accurately discriminate from what is real and what is imagined With that in mind does a question influence its answer Do words enhance or distract our different sensory memories What do we really remember about certain incidences that occur in our everyday lives Moreover does confidence correlate with accuracy These are a few questions that are highly applicable in the PBS Frontline documentary What Jennifer Saw In the documentary we learn that Jennifer Thompson was attacked and raped by an armed black man and somehow managed to escape and call for help During the attack however Jennifer realized that if she did escape her only way of identifying her assailant would be by closely remembering his facial features and speech However due to the circumstances Jennifer was only able to capture certain characteristics of the assailant and his tone of voice Would this information be enough to pinpoint her attacker In Jennifers case it was not Jennifer was responsible for sending Ronald Cotton an innocent man to prison for 11 years Inevitably Jennifer wanted to identify her assailant to give herself closure furthermore her decisions were based on inconclusive evidence and suggestions made by the police in questioning This demonstrates the high malleability of our memories because Jennifer was not confident in identifying her attacker Even with ideas of what the suspect resembled when first
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