Problem Library

Emotion and Memory: Bright Lights through Thick Fog

Length: 3-6 hours

Discipline: Psychology

Level: Introductory (non-majors)

Author: Benander, Ruth

Students in introductory psychology courses must gain experience with the professional literature and the methods of psychological research. However, in an introductory course, they do not have the knowledge or expertise to use these resources. Early exposure to reading studies and collecting data can help students be more successful in later courses where these skills are required. It is not too early to introduce students to research and this problem is intended to give students the opportunity to work with research analysis and presentation in a structured environment. The problem specifically asks students to participate in data gathering and analysis, with reference to scholarly articles in the context of memories of September 11, 2001. This assignment could be adapted for other current events that have had an emotional impact on the students. This problem is built on the concept from Levine and Babb ( in their problem titled “Remembering the Verdict: A Problem-Based Learning Approach to Studying the Effects of Emotions on Memory.”

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