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Personality affects recall: study

When witnesses discussed an event they took on some of the other witnesses' memories as their own.
When witnesses discussed an event they took on some of the other witnesses' memories as their own. THINKSTOCK

LAURA Howarth says personality affects the way we remember events and we can take on other people's memories of events as our own.

Laura, a psychology student who came from Orange to study at Southern Cross University's Coffs Harbour campus, is one of the honours students presenting the results of her research to this week's two-day SCU Psychology Research Conference at the National Marine Science Centre.

She looked at the influence of personality on memory for eyewitnesses. Her study found that when witnesses discussed an event they took on some of the other witnesses' memories as their own.

She also found that when two people discussed the event, the person who was more extroverted took on more of the incorrect memories.

"It's been really interesting and it definitely has a practical application in the real world," Laura said. "Eyewitnesses are vital and I think it's important to know the kinds of things that make someone better as an eyewitness.

"I'm interested in forensic psychology. The conference will be a really valuable experience in presenting something we have all worked hard on. It will be very rewarding."

Conference co-ordinator and psychology lecturer Dr Mitchell Longstaff said final year psychology students undertook major independent research projects each year which made a real contribution to the understanding of human behaviour.

This year topics have included whether internet over-use is just another addiction; whether caffeine has an impact on attention processes; whether paediatric concussion has persistent effects on child behaviour; what brain activity is associated with visual consciousness, and; how young children develop politeness.

The annual psychology conference being held at Southern Cross University's National Marine Science Centre began yesterday and will continue today from 9am.

The awards presentation will be held at 2.45pm today.

Topics:  psychology research southern cross university study



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