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Flashbulb Memories by Martin Conway

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Chapter One

The Flashbulb Memory Hypothesis

In the 1970s two researchers, Roger Brown and James Kulik (1977), became interested in reports of surprisingly detailed and vivid memories for learning the news of certain prominent public events. The clarity and persistence of these memories were so striking that Brown and Kulik named them flashbulb memories (FMs). Informal evidence of the ubiquity of FMs emerged in an article from the popular magazine Esquire (1973), in which a number of celebrities recounted their memories of learning the news of the assassination of the American President John F. Kennedy that had occurred some 10 years prior to the Esquire interviews. What aroused Brown and Kulik’s interest was not the fact that the celebrities ...

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