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Surprising Science

Memory’s Malleability

We can’t be sure that the events in our memories really happened the way we recall. We all add and alter details. The only sure way is to write them down while still fresh.

“This malleability of memory has rather disturbing implications for the way we view our existence. If you’re like me, you like to imagine yourself as a stable psychological entity…whose present tense is framed by memories of what happened in the past… If my memories are inaccurate, does that mean my sense of self is compromised?” “During periods of my life that felt particularly momentous or confusing, I’ve often kept a journal. Going back later and reading what I’ve written, I’ve time and again been stunned at how different my memories are from what actually happened.”


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