In our last discussion section we took a sort of memory quiz, in which we were giving a list of words and told to recall them. What I found out at the end was that specific words on my list that I had remembered hearing were not in fact on the list given. This astounded me because I could have sworn that I had heard them. This phenomena is called memory illusion.
A memory illusion is a false memory but one that is subjectively compelling. In this case we were given words that were related to one another like sit, stool, table, etc. Therefore when attempting to recall this list I inserted the word chair because it is related to the others, this is subjectivity. This simplification to make the recollection of words easier is called representative heuristic.
Although in this case the consequences of my inserting a false memory into these lists was minor, it makes me wonder. Have I done this before with worth consequence? If I did not even notice myself doing this how can I possibly prevent it in the future?
If you have not seen this before, I think you should try it, it may surprise you!
Below is a list of words from the example given in the book, read each column of words left to right and only take about a second per word. Do not write any down yet. Once you have finished reading the words look away from the screen and attempt to remember as many as you can. Afterwards compare and see how you did....did you put in anything extra?
Bed Cot Sheets
Pillow Dream Rest
Tired Snore Yawn
Darkness Blanket Couch