Consistency of flashbulb memories (FBMs) of the 11th September terrorist attacks and of everyday memories (EDMs) of the preceding weekend do not differ, in both cases declining over the following year for a group of Duke University undergraduates. However, ratings of recollection, vividness and other phenomenological properties were consistently higher for FBMs than for EDMs across time. Belief in the accuracy of memory was initially high for both memories, but declined over time only for EDMs. These findings confirm that FBMs are not extraordinarily accurate, but they may systematically differ from EDMs in other meaningful ways.
Flashbulb memories are special after all; in phenomenology, not accuracy