Thursday, May 07, 2015

Critical Thinking Essay: Psychology - Implicit Memory

Can an event in a person’s childhood affect them for the rest of their adult life? A 10 year old child watches his/her parent die in an accident. What kind of affect will this have on the child when he/she is grown? Will this person be able to overcome this event after 30 years? Or, will this hinder the individual from having a “normal” life?

I believe an old memory can be triggered later in life no matter how hard an individual tries to forget or suppress it. Further, I believe it can cause problems in day to day life without the person realizing how much damage is actually being done to him/herself or those around him/her.

In researching memory, I came across “implicit memory” ( and a video about a man who, when faced with a joke box containing a fake mouse, became startled and had a flashback to a time when he was four years old. It was a traumatic experience because he had unknowingly eaten rat poison and had to have his stomach pumped. So, memories we feel have been forgotten can actually be brought back to life with great detail.

Implicit memories are “invisible and emotional” ( A child who is given up for adoption may not have explicit memory of the event but the emotional memory, the implicit one, is there. Therefore, they may have a lifelong feeling of rejection. “Early experiences shape adult behavior.” ( Given this information, I believe my conclusion regarding adult behavior being linked to childhood memories is accurate, though it may not apply to everyone.

If an adult behaves poorly, or is detached from those around him/her, he/she might have an implicit memory to blame.
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