Over the course of this class we have discussed everything from Pavlov to Darwin. Many theories were already familiar or sounded like something that was mentioned once during this class or that. New obscure ideas were presented and learned about our own ability to learn. Five years down the road it is hard to predict what I will remember or won't. Maybe the ideas will cloud but I'll remember sitting down to write this blog post, or the fact that I chose this topic to write about will be the singular reason it stays in my memory. However, the lectures and reading on false memory touched me the most and I can say with some degree of certainty that I will be recalling this subject for many years to come.
Everyone has favorite stories they tell about their childhood, and as the youngest sibling sometimes mine have become more foggy than I think. I have sat down to ask tell friends a story only to have my sister interrupt that it was in fact her that had that particular toy, that particular scrape, that particular classmate. Not to say these memories are completely false, but they fall under a similar category. Another example would be waking up from a dream and that 30 seconds where you're unsure if what happened in the dream happened in real life. Sometimes, that thirty seconds lasts days so what's to stop it from lasting years?
This video about a young woman that was affected by the revelation of psychological studies in false memories was incredibly fascinating to me and coincides with everything we discussed on the topic.
It is not to say that I won't know what an out of death experience is when I'm 24 and out of college. It's not to say I won't think of Skinner's box if I see a rat at a pet store. Yet, if I'm thinking about my intro to psychology course that I took the first semester of my second year, I believe I'm most likely to think about false memories. Someone may mention a psychology topic to me at a cocktail party and I'll create my own false memories about a professor lecturing on the topic. I might remember my test score being significantly higher or lower than in truth they have been this semester. False memories like many psychological topics affect us more in our day-to-day life than we tend to realize and whether I remember correctly or not, I think the important part is that I remember at all.