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A video explaining the danger created by memory mutability



It is important that every investigator or lawyer preparing a case for trial must understand how memory affects the information obtained. Very few people have a perfect eidetic (photographic) memory. Memory is a fluid and often unreliable human function.

Watch the full video o at https://youtu.be/i5OUcPXDc3Aebrit19659002 ?? During my time as a trainee investigator at the Army Intelligence School in Fort Holabird, Maryland, a classroom lecture on interviews was interrupted by a man wearing a clown mask, a tuxedo, swimming fins, a cowboy hat and a purple cummerbund. He ran into the room, screamed epithets, fired a weapon at the roof and ran out. The teacher instructed each class member to write a description of the intruder. None of our descriptions were accurate, and we were all shocked when the shooter was brought back to class. The sound he made, the firing of a weapon and the fear created by the incident made it almost impossible to recall him exactly. Some even described him as a female.

The professional acknowledges that some interviewing techniques can cause honest topics – those that are innocent but "just trying to be helpful" – to "mislead" and provide unreliable, even false, information. It has long been known that false memories can be implanted through a process of suggestion, especially when used by skilled but unscrupulous lawyers or interviewers.

Lead open questions – where a desired answer is suggested in the way the question is formulated – is a dangerous obstacle to finding facts. The real professional, impartial and just seeking the truth, must protect himself from inadvertently leading a subject to create false memories.

Professionals should never rely solely on the testimony of an eyewitness. They are usually not completely reliable. Each testimony must be backed up with corroborating witnesses, documents and physical evidence before it can be relied upon.


© 2020 – Barry Zalma

Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE, now restricts his practice as an insurance consultant specializing in insurance coverage, insurance damage management, insurance bad faith and insurance fraud insurance almost equally. policyholder. He also acts as arbitrator or mediator for insurance-related disputes. He practiced law in California for more than 44 years as an insurance coverage and insurance service and more than 52 years in the insurance industry. He is available at http://www.zalma.com and zalma@zalma.com.

Mr. Zalma is the first recipient of the first annual Claims Magazine / ACE Legend Award.

For the past 52 years Barry Zalma has devoted his life to insurance, insurance claims and the need to defeat insurance fraud. He has created the following library of books and other materials to enable insurance companies and their claims staff to become professional insurance claims.

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