From: Scientific American

The Memory Illusion

Scientific American:

In my book The Memory Illusion I cover a wide spectrum of ways in which our memories can betray us, and why you may not be who you think you are. In celebration of the book’s publication, I’m pleased  to share with you a taste of some of the concepts that it explores in depth. You can also watch a short animated video about the book here.

Can you trust your memory?

Picture this. You are in a room full of strangers and you are going around introducing yourself. You say your name to about a dozen people, and they say their names to you. How many of these names are you going to remember? More importantly, how many of these names are you going tomisremember? Perhaps you call a person you just met John instead of Jack. This kind of thing happens all the time.

While most false memories are generated unintentionally, some are intentional. I like to call those who intentionally mess with our memories “memory hackers.”

I am one of these memory hackers. I recently conducted a study that elucidates this, published in the academic journal Psychological Science. Through a series of three interviews, my participants came to believe they experienced a highly emotional event that never happened.

Read the whole story: Scientific American

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