DailyDirt: Memories Are Not As Reliable As They Used To Be

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Normally, when we remember something, we can estimate how reliable our memory is -- but not always. Sometimes it's hard to know if a particular memory is actually true. Our brains can forget details and fabricate things to fill in the gaps. More and more psychological studies seem to suggest that our memories are far more flexible than we might like them to be. Implanting fake memories isn't as hard as it sounds, and in the future, the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind might seem less far-fetched. Here are just a few things you might want to remember about remembering. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2013 @ 5:55pm

    If we choose what we can forget....

    We might choose to do horrible things and then forget that we did them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    steell (profile), Nov 4th, 2013 @ 8:38pm

    I have no complaints, my memory is so good I remember things that never happened.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    Binko Barnes (profile), Nov 4th, 2013 @ 8:52pm

    Every person I've ever met massively underestimates the degree to which the subconscious mind re-organizes and alters perceptions and memories in order to protect and bolster the self.

    People tend to think of the mind as some kind of computing device that calculates things and stores memories. In reality it is an organ that has evolved with one purpose - to protect it's host and make it feel secure, even if it means warping our view of reality.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2013 @ 1:53am

    Wrong title !!

    It should say, "Memories are not as reliable as what you remember them to be"

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2013 @ 5:55am

    more "Homer" !!

    Homer: It's 5 years later and I still think I'm a chicken, I'm a chicken Marge!
    Marge: I know I know."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    aldestrawk (profile), Nov 5th, 2013 @ 7:58am

    stress and memory

    The linked article about traumatic experiences and memory is incorrect. I haven't read anything by the psychologist whose research the article is about, so it might be the author, and not the psychologist, got things a little wrong. Research in neurophysiology shows that stressful events are more memorable as stress hormones increase the ability of the hippocampus to lay down new memories. That doesn't mean that those memories are particularly accurate and this is where the confusion might have originated.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous, Nov 5th, 2013 @ 6:51pm

    Remember, remember...

    The fourth of November? Nah, it just doesn't have the same ring to it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Bengie, Nov 7th, 2013 @ 10:37am


    They did, just in a different universe.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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