Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Reconstructive Memory’

Is raising a puppy actually as much fun as you think it is? Rosy Retrospection will lead you to say yes.

November 20th, 2020 No comments

Do you really want to adopt that puppy?

During the summer of 2020 Covid-19 quarantine, one of the most popular ideas floating around online to help pass the time was to adopt or foster a new animal. But, did people remember how difficult that task actually is? Do they remember all those early mornings, pee puddles, and chewed up furniture? Rosy retrospection may explain why people were likely to adopt despite the difficulty of raising and training a new animal. Rosy retrospection is the process by which we remember past events as generally better than they were by forgetting or downplaying the negative aspects. Before I get into all the definitions, think about whether you have ever participated in something that is difficult mentally or physically while you do it, but then somehow when you look back on it, it doesn’t seem so bad and you’d do it again? This could be adopting an animal, running a marathon, or helping a friend move. In the moment, you are aware of the discomfort and negative aspects, but in the future you are willing to do it again because you remember the best parts of the experience. I’m going to be using the example of raising a new puppy to highlight how rosy retrospection and a few other aspects of memory can change how we view the past. 

Read more…

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , , ,

Think You Remember Something? It’s Probably Inaccurate.

November 19th, 2020 No comments

The instances of discrepancies between people’s memories of the same event are numerous. I bet that as you read that sentence, you remembered a moment where you fought with a friend or family member about the actualities of a past experience—both of you adamant that your account was correct. However, the likely case is that you are both misremembering some details. The alteration of the details of memory does not matter much in a petty argument, but it matters a great deal in the situation of eyewitness testimony.

Is your truth accurate?

Memories are edited and distorted constantly, resulting in inaccurate remembering. Along with being in place for the storage of your childhood memories and everyday experiences, your memory is also a system to help in making future decisions and drawing on past experiences for the present. The entire memory system is a reconstructive process. By reconstructive, I mean that there are consistent rebuilding and molding of memories after the event. If you think of the details of memory as playdough building blocks, you can envision those details being squished into new shapes and shifted around. As seen in the image to the left, one person’s “truth” may not be the actual truth. Daniel Schachter introduced the concept of the 7 sins of memory (Schacter, Guerin, & St. Jacques, 2011). These sins describe how our memory can “fail” us when we forget things, misremember events, do not encode, or incorporate incorrect information into a memory. Each of these sins results in distorted memories. When you retrieve a memory, it becomes susceptible to change.

Read more…

I’m a Little Confused on How You Got Here

November 26th, 2019 No comments

Where did I see that from?

One day, a psychologist was brought into the police office and was told being accused of rape. Little did he know that the woman who accused him of rape saw him on television prior to being raped. The woman had confused his face with the face of her attacker. The woman’s memory had failed at being able to differentiate where she saw the two faces. She wasn’t able to distinguish whether she had seen the psychologist face on television or as the attacker (Schacter, 1999). This is an example of a cognitive bias called misattribution of memory.

Let’s take the phrase “misattribution of memory” apart. Misattribute means to incorrectly assign the origin, cause, or source of something. For instance, you remember that someone made great coffee for you. You thought that it was your friend Amy so, you ask her to make it for you again.  However, it turned out that it was actually your friend, Sam. If you add the word memory to it, then misattribution of memory is when one incorrectly assigns the origin, cause or source of a memory. Misattribution of memory is a cognitive bias in which, people can remember what took place or the piece of information. However, they can’t remember where this information came from.

Read more…