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I Remember it Perfectly...Well,Maybe Not

May 5, 2017


What is memory? Is it a recording? Is memory accurate?

The evidence suggests memory is neither a recording nor accurate. In fact, there's lots of evidence that we shape and build our memories.


For example, at a two day boot camp I once attended, some attendees disagreed with a speaker. I did not see the exchange, but heard it was not cheerful.


Later I happened by chance to speak to a woman who was involved in the interaction. She told me how the speaker had glared at her and said unpleasant things. As I knew the speaker, I found the account hard to accept, but I said nothing.


I asked two other people about the incident and played up how I didn't see it. I offered no additional info. Their accounts differed.


Later, while discussing this with a counselor at the event, she told me how she and two other people heard the "offended party" tell her version. All three people remembered it differently.


Finally, I sought out the speaker and asked her about the event. After she recounted her version, I told her about my attempts to find the truth. She told me, "they are all true".

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Ed Lawrence               

Natick, MA                          


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