Scientists Explore The Illusion Of Memory Essay

Decent Essays
Do you think you have a good memory? If you are in agreeance with the majority of society your answer should be yes; you can remember your name, what you ate for breakfast this morning, where you live, what car you drive, and basically all the things that are essential to living out your everyday life. Memory is a necessary function of the human mind that we use and rely on throughout our lives. It is what allows us to learn from our past so we can better pursue our future. Everything that we have ever thought, done, or said, molds us into the people we are today, and without memory, we would essentially forget the things that make us who we are. Think about it, you could not be the person you are today if you could not remember the experiences…show more content…
The article titled, “Scientists Explore the Illusion of Memory” states that “scientists are discovering that a memory changes every time you think about it.” The article quotes Dr. Eric Kandel from Columbia University, one of the world’s leading experts on memory, “Every time you recall a memory, it becomes sensitive to disruption. Often that is used to incorporate new information into it," (Scientists Explore the Illusion of Memory). This means that every time we remember a memory, there is the potential for distortion. One example of this that many of us can relate to is when you consider your old preschool classroom or playground. When recalling the memory, most people remember a glorified version of reality with giant windows, big desks, and a larger than life classroom. These distorted memories only become realized when we revisit the site of the memories and see how different they look from what we remember. The Invisible Gorilla further explores this distortion in our memory in the section titled “I Sat Next to Captain Picard.” Here the author recalls a time when their friend Ken Norman remembered a story of sitting next to actor Patrick Stewart at a restaurant, only to realize that the memory was not his own. Ken had heard the story and his memory altered it, making him believe he had experienced something he in fact did not (Simons). Something such as…show more content…
They argue that forgetting or misremembering cannot be qualified as an “illusion of memory,” because all it does is demonstrate that some people have better memories than others. The flaw in this logic is that such individuals are simply failing to look at the definition of the illusion of memory. The illusion of memory does not determine whether an individual’s memory is strong or forgetful, it merely looks at how our minds perceive memory in relation to the reality when the memory was made. There is a difference between distorting or altering a memory and simply misremembering a detail embedded in the memory. A memory could be considered altered when the person who remembers is confident and believes that their memory is absolute and accurate, while misremembering something could be as simple as replacing a detail in an instance that they are unsure. Some individuals are confident that they have better than average memories, or that there is no way to accurately prove that their memory is truly distorted when they could be misremembering small details. What is ironic about this argument is that it suffers from the illusion of confidence as well as the illusion of
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