Testimony and 9/11:
Memory change over time
October 24, 2013 • 10AM-1PM
918 International Affairs Building, Columbia University
- William Hirst, Psychology, The New School
- Elizabeth Phelps, Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, New York University
- Discussant: Clifford Chanin, National September 11 Memorial and Museum
- Discussant: Bradley Evans, International Studies, University of Bristol
How does a traumatic, public event affect the accuracy of our memories?
Immediately following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the 9/11 Memory Consortium, led by psychologists William Hirst and Elizabeth Phelps, launched a national survey project to assess the impact of the terrorist attacks on individual memory. Nearly 1,500 respondents voluntarily returned questionnaires about their memories and experience of 9/11 within one week of the event to capture flashbulb memories. Follow-up surveys were conducted at one year, three years and ten years.
Part of the Politics of Memory in Global Context series, this event featured a presentation of the 9/11 National Memory Survey by Hirst and Phelps, and was followed by a response from Clifford Chanin from the National September 11 Memorial and Museum and from Bradley Evans, whose Histories of Violence project offers a critical response to the anniversary of 9/11.
Read Hirst and Phelps et al.: Long-term memory for the terrorist attack of September 11: Flashbulb memories, event memories, and the factors that influence their retention (2010)