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What Our Memories Tell Us About Ourselves

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <post.nul>
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2013 05:51:47 -0400
Archived: Thu, 21 Mar 2013 05:51:47 -0400
Subject: What Our Memories Tell Us About Ourselves

Source: Time.Com


March 20, 2013

What Our Memories Tell Us About Ourselves
By Charles Fernyhough

Do you remember the time President Obama shook hands with
Iranian president Ahmadinejad? If you took part in a recent
psychological study, it's possible that you will. More than
5,000 participants were presented with doctored photographs
representing fabricated political events, with around half
claiming to have memories for the false scenarios (Obama has, of
course, never shaken hands with the Iranian president). Part of
a decades-long program of research by psychologist Elizabeth
Loftus, the latest study provides a neat demonstration of how
our memories are created in the present rather than being
faithful records of the past.

The popular perception of memory shows a considerable lag with
the new scientific consensus. The psychologists Daniel J. Simons
and Christopher Chabris have conducted two large-scale surveys
showing that roughly half of respondents thought that memory
works like a video recorder. And although many people do
recognize that their memories are fallible, there is much less
understanding of precisely how and why they fail us.

[More at site... thanks to Diana Cammack for the lead]

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