flashbulb memory

A flashbulb memory refers to memory for a situation in which a person first learned of a very surprising and emotionally arousing event, often of international significance. Examples of flashbulb memories (for individuals of various vintage) include the assassination of John F. Kennedy, assassination of Martin Luther King, the Challenger shuttle explosion, the O.J. Simpson verdict, the death of Princess Diana, the death of JFK Jr., the Newtown School shooting and unfortunately several others. The terrorist attacks of 9/11. Death of Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Prince, etc.

Brown and Kulik (1977) examined flashbulb memory reports of the assassination of JFK and derived six ‘canonical’ categories of information that are reported in flashbulb memory reports across individuals: the location (remembering where you heard the news); the ongoing event (remembering what you were doing at the time you heard the news); the informant (remembering who told you about the event); emotional affect in others (noticing the emotional reactions of others); emotional affect in self (noticing the emotional reactions of oneself); and aftermath/consequentiality (remembering what you did after you heard the news).

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Analyze your own memory reports for the six categories of information typically reported in flashbulb memories. Describe your flash bulb memory, what do you remember about it and describe how it fits into these six categories. The flashbulb memory should be something you remember in detail and therefore able to fit into the six categories. It may not be any of the examples listed above but what’s considered to be a flashbulb memory to you

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