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Sarkisyan 1 Lillyt Sarkisyan Professor Lewis English 114A October 22, 2013 Long-Term Memory What is it about something

that makes us remember it for the rest of our lives? Can it be that it sticks with us because it touches us emotionally, or maybe because it renders nostalgic memories or even dreams? I decided to put these psychological memory recollections to a test by showing three different age groups a shocking and traumatizing video which would stimulate a sense in their brain to see whether or not the video would effect them in any way. Whether some memories are intrusive or not, they are stored in our long-term memory because they have somehow captured our attention at the time, and are now kept deeply into our thoughts forever. Cognitive psychology deals with how we think, feel, and, of course, remember. There are three different kinds of memory: sensory, short-term and long-term (Mohs). Earlier this month, I decided to conduct an experiment for my English 114 class, to get the reactions of a video I saw about a year ago on Facebook. The clip is one minute and twenty-two seconds long, and takes place in what seems to be a kitchen. Inside the kitchen is a man with a black face mask on, and a girl with a camera, hiding in the corner. These two thought it would be humorous to play a prank on their friend, Rachel, who later walks into her kitchen to be scared by the man with the mask. Rachels immediate reaction to him was to scream and run. Rachel ran down the stairs, out the door, through the street and immediately got run over by a car. The two friends started screaming

Sarkisyan 2 RACHEL! and in the background, you can hear the man that ran her over crying, I didnt even see her! I wanted to use this video because it is very graphic, and shows a lot of emotion. The atmosphere, the dramatic cries, and the actions of the protagonist and the two friends all are very traumatizing and striking. These are the types of characteristics that capture our attention, and can be stored in our long-term memory mainly because of the shock factor. This clip can also bring back memories to some people who have undergone a similar situation, and can also make one think twice about how something humorous can have such a drastic downturn. I conducted my investigation with various age groups to observe how each experimental group would respond. I started off with my sister, Mariam. Mariam is a junior in high school and is sixteen years old. I sat her down, played the clip, and observed her reaction closely. I found her response to be the most intriguing out of everyone I observed because she showed the most emotion. Once it started playing she yelled, Ive seen this video, I hate it You showed it to me years ago and it scarred me! Even though she had seen it before, she continued watching. This could be because the video intrigued her in some way, shape, or form. Her body language was very tense and closed up. As soon as the climax of the video appeared, Mariams immediate reaction was to close her eyes. I then asked her what she just saw, and she described the scene with much detail. She told me the setting, what people said, and Rachels emotions at the moment she got scared. I knew that I showed her the clip before, and it was no surprise when she told me that it scarred her, because of the overall shock factor. Mariam immediately remembered the video shed seen before because it was forever locked in her long-term memory.

Sarkisyan 3 Next, I approached a completely different age group, which was my mom. My mom, Marines reaction was rather different. I sat her down, and played the video. As the video was playing, she tried to predict what was going to happen. She paid attention to much detail, stating that the bag Rachel was holding was from Ralphs. She observed the kitchen in the video to see if anything caught her eye, and slowly ignored what the video was trying to expose. As soon as Rachel got run over, Marine gasped for air and said Thats not funny. Thats sad. My moms reaction to the video told me that she was mad, because she began acting a certain way afterwards, becoming moody. The video affected her on another level. The next day, she came and told me that she thought about the scene all night. She told me that she did not know whether or not to drive to work the next day with extra precautions. This goes back to how the memory of something, in this case the memory of the video, can reflect on ones actions. Last but not least, I showed the clip to my little ten-year old brother, Sarkis. Prior to watching the video, my mom and sister ran up to me and told me not let him watch it, but as soon as he saw the paused image from the video, he knew exactly what it was, and yelled, Ive seen this before! . As he watched the clip, he kept repeating, Ive seen this to conceal for his intrusive emotions. Then his emotions took over in a form of mimicking. He began imitating the girl in the video. This shows the different approach children may have to such emotional displays and how they cover up for their feelings. Sarkis described the scene as scary, and also picked up details that I did not see, such as the cellphone Rachel was holding. He also described every scene and action that took place step by step.

Sarkisyan 4 Psychologist, Kendra Chelly describes Freudian psychology to be the preconscious and unconscious. She states that, this information is largely outside of our awareness, but can be called into working memory to be used when needed. One of the two types of long term memory is known as declarative. Declarative memory can show us how the video effects us because of something known as episodic memory. Episodic memory stores personal recollections. It is one of the two parts to declarative memory. Episodic memory takes us back in time and reminds us of an occasion. For example, say one of the subjects of the experiment where told to do a similar prank as the one showed in the video. Theyd immediately reminisce to the day they viewed the one in a half minute clip, and it will object to the mischief. In conclusion, the average person tends to remember something that appeals to them rather than something as boring as a thousand page textbook. We file this memory in our brain so that in the future, we know what actions to take or how to respond to something in particular. Each subject of the experiment had different reactions to the video. Mariam, the sixteen year old, said she had seen the clip, but continued watching as if some force was compelling her to. Though her body language seemed rather closed up and tense, she used two of her senses to confirm the information she had processed when she first saw the video, which was through her vision and hearing. When Mariam couldnt bare to see the disturbing scene, she shut her eyes but still heard everything that was taking place in the video. Marines reaction was more up front and rather blunt than the other two. She spoke exactly what was on her mind and explained how the scene affected her afterwards. Sarkiss emotions were all over the place. He was not so sure how to react to the clip, because he knew exactly what was going to come up,

Sarkisyan 5 so his little ten-year old instinct told him to try to make the traumatizing video somewhat humorous. Our age affects the way we respond to something because of the past memories that are built up to make us who we are today. This video is a small part of those pilled memories, and will affect the people who watched it someway, somehow in the future.

Sarkisyan 6 Works Cited Mohs. Richard C. How Human Memory Works. HowStuffWorks. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2013. Cherry, Kendra. "What Is Long-Term Memory?" About.com Psychology. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2013.