misinformation effect

Turns out I’m not alone in memory-is-an-illusion kick.

Just the day after I posted that, Kottke gave a nice shout-out to this funny new blog called You Are Not So Smart. Dude is chronicling all the ways in which we delude himself. In other words: He picked the perfect topic for a blog. His subject will never run dry.

you are not so smart logo

The You Are Not So Smart take on memory:

The Misconception: Memories are played back like recordings.

The Truth: Memories are constructed anew each time from whatever information is currently available, which makes things like eyewitness testimony unreliable.

[…]

Scientists generally agree memories aren’t recorded like videos or stored like data on a hard drive. They are constructed and assembled on the spot like Legos from a bucket in your brain.

Each time you build a memory, you make it from scratch, and if much time has passed you stand a good chance of getting the details wrong. With a little influence, you might get big ones wrong.

So I guess I didn’t make up that article I referenced in my own memory post. Whew.

I passed the word list test, BTW. But only because I guessed the punchline when reading over the teaser words. I mean…I’m not THAT smart.

No comments

Leave a Comment