Sunday, January 30, 2011

Financial Memory Syndrome

Via The Psy-Fi Blog (H/T Phil's Stock World).
The malleability of memory appears to come out of the mechanics behind it. We simply can’t remember all of the details of everything that happens to us so we resort to short-cuts. In particular memory fades quite quickly and when asked to retrieve them we seem to merge a general template of similar situations – a so-called schema – with the few details we can retrieve to complete a “whole” memory. Unfortunately our remembrances of things past are far from accurate.
Additionally our reliability as witnesses to our own lives is often somewhat undermined by the fact that, as the psychologist Richard Wiseman has shown, we often fail to spot the strangest things if our attention is focused elsewhere. In order to record stuff in memory we need to notice it in the first place (make sure you follow the instructions).
Human memory is fallible and malleable and we don’t even know it. Memory research shows quite clearly that eye witness testimony is unreliable and should never be relied upon unless corroborated in other ways. Yet in court cases we rate such evidence as overwhelmingly more important than other sources, presumably because we believe our own memories are perfect rather than reconstructed palimpsests of dubious authenticity.

Click Here to Read: Financial Memory Syndrome

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