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Memory. 1995 Mar;3(1):67-80.

Flashbulb memories: conceptual and methodological issues.

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London School of Economics, UK.


Although flashbulb memory research is now well established, it is still not clear exactly what researchers are referring to as flashbulbs, and what is the best way to address the phenomenon. There are at least two ways in which the term "flashbulbs" is used, and at least two conceptual approaches that can be used to research them. The first usage corresponds to the bold theoretical conjectures put forward by Brown and Kulik (1977). The second results from empirical classification and intuitively lacks the essence conveyed by the first meaning. The two approaches concentrate on the cognitive and societal aspects, respectively. Although these are not incompatible, they make different assumptions and use different methodologies. We argue that research should be directed towards more unified theorising, and we describe methodologies appropriate for this approach.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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