Same event, Different memories


For this blog, I wrote about a memory of me and my sisters and my mom going to a pumpkin patch around Halloween about 12 years ago. Here is how I remember it:

It was a beautiful fall day, the sun was shining and the sky was clear. I remember goofing around with my sisters and having a great time. I remember grabbing some good food for lunch. Mostly, I remember picking out the biggest pumpkin I could find. One that was definitely bigger than either of my sisters.
However, when I talked to my family members, they seemed to remember a few things differently. My mom remembers us being very naughty, doing things like running away from her and hiding. One of my sisters remembers eating horrible food (she got sick later that night), and my other sister swears she definitely picked out the biggest pumpkin.

I think the biggest factor in why people have different memories of the same event is that everyone had different experiences or perspectives on that event. For example, I remember me and my sisters having a blast because to young kids, running and hiding from their parents is so much fun. However to my mom, we were being extremely naughty by doing this, so she remembers us as being trouble. This also works for my sister remembering the food as bad, whereas I remembered it as good. Since she got sick later that night, of course she thought the food was bad, and likely experienced taste aversion to the food after that.


Of course perspective plays a big role in memories, but I also think another huge part is how you want to remember a situation. If you had a good time at a party and tell all your friends how great the party was was, in the long term you are more likely to remember the night to be way better than it really was.
I also think that if tell the same lie enough, you eventually start to believe it and confuse it with reality. It's like you're trying to plant a false memory so that you can escape a potentially sticky situation- whether it be being grounded or getting caught cheating on an test.

Our perspective certainly plays possibly the largest part in how we remember events and experiences. I agree that if a person tell a certain lie consistently, they might find themselves even believing it to be true. The person doesn't need a trained psychologist to convince them of the lie, but we can convince ourselves of the lie due to consistency. But something like that makes me wonder how many times I've personally convinced myself of a lie? Quite a scary thought!

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by desho017 published on March 4, 2012 10:24 PM.

Alzheimer's: A Tragic Disease was the previous entry in this blog.

The 6th Leading Cause of Death in the United States: Alzheimer's is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.