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My False Autobiography

April 17th, 2013 1 comment

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Memory, like many functions of the human body, is not something that we often take time to appreciate. In fact, it can be said that we take the ability to remember for granted. I mean, just think about it! How cool is it that we are able to recall past events such as a dance recital from our youth, or how to play a game of chess, for example? While remembering has its advantages, so does forgetting, but how might our memories be influenced by incorrect recollections?

Our memory system is not flawless, and in fact is susceptible to a number of errors. It is the case that memories sometimes deceive us in ways we are not even aware. Distortions often occur as a result of forgetting details over time, or the interference of routine events such as attending school or work every day. Additionally, our beliefs and expectations of the world around us shape in some way our memories of the past. Another way to state this is: as our perceptions of the world are constantly changing, so are our memories. We reconstruct events based on current beliefs and input received from outside sources (Schacter, 2001).

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