Flashbulb Memory Definition With Examples

You’re just about to learn the simplest flashbulb memory definition to clear your doubts.

As always, everything will be devoid of the boring technical jargon that only go to confuse a lot of people.

Once you’re reading this, I want to bet you’re also interested in enhancing your memory power. If so you may have to check out the Memory Professor system. It’s gold!

So, what is flashbulb memory?

A flashbulb memory is a highly detailed, exceptionally vivid ‘snapshot’ of the moment and circumstances in which a piece of surprising and consequential news was learned about – Wikipedia

Did you get exactly what this means? Good luck if you did.

If not, let’s dive in to practicalize the concept using real life example of flashbulb memory event.

First, understand that the event that creates this type of memory can be good or bad depending on the situation.

For example, we all know about the September 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

To date, many of us can vividly describe where we were, who were with, what time of day and even the dress we were wearing when it happened.

That incident is a classic example of a flashbulb memory that was printed on our minds till date.

In essence flashbulb memory definition could safely be said to be memories resulting from learning of a surprising or dreadful event.


The surprise or shock preceding this is usually so intense that it gets printed on the brain in a great deal of clarity.

It is worth knowing that in such instances, one does not necessarily have to a witness the event.

As described above, not many of us had a personal experience of the 9/11 event. Yet, learning about it was enough to qualify as a flashbulb memory.

This is very much so because of what’s referred to as autobiographical memory.

Our individual perception of events, as they relate to us, has significant impact on us. It defines how we are able to consume and interpret the event.

Another example of flashbulb memory is the occurrence of an eclipse of the moon that I witnessed a couple of years ago.

To date, I still have an accurate recollection of exactly where I was when this happened. I remember moments before the incident as well as the reactions of people who were around me.

I can say with certainty however, that, I am unable to remember exactly what I did for the rest of the day.

Also read: Physical Manifestation Meaning – Manifesting your Desires

Why are flashbulb memories so strong?

Psychology teaches us that our long-term memory hold information for a long period of time, if not forever.
The short-term memory on the contrary does this for only a few seconds.

The intensity of flashbulb event and the associated deep emotional attachment help to push the memory to our subconscious mind for long term storage.

This in turn helps to sort of skip the other stages of our memory system.

Short term memories require memorization techniques to help push information to the other parts of the brain for long term storage.

The flashbulb effect requires no such skills to etch the event strongly on our mind.

Hopefully you’ve picked more than just flashbulb memory definition.

We looked at some relevant examples to help clarify the concept. Put your mind on the ground and you’ll notice them when they happen.

Did you just win a jackpot?

There you go!

Feel free to share your experience in the comments box below and remember to see the Memory Professor system here.

1 Comment
  1. Flashbulb memories are really powerful and do not always occur. I think if we could trigger this kind of memory at our whim, it’ll go a long way to sharpen our memory and recall ability.

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