History or His story? The role of media on memory

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"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it"
-Joseph Gobbels (Reich Minister of Propoganda in Natzi Germany).

Toward the end of Ch. 7, Lilienfeld discusses false memories. More specifically, he discusses the different ways in which false memories are brought about. For example, in the seven sins of memory, he addresses how bias and schemas may influence our memory of a particular situation. In Natzi Germany, propoganda was heavily used to sway the public opinion. Victims, particularly Jews and socialists were primarily targeted. These victims were portrayed in a negative light, characterized with over exagerated traits.
Perhaps Gobbels used this sin of memory to his advantage by implacing a negative schema of Jews and socialists, thus distorting peoples memories. He may have additionally used "persistance", by constantly delivering this message. From a biological standpoint, memories are created and stregthened through long term pontitiation in the hippocampus. Acording to Hebbs rule, every time a stimulation occures the nerogical connection is strengthened.

Long-Term-Potentiation1.jpg Thus after hearing a lie so many times, the lie eventually may becaome embedded in the brain, perhaps acounting for flase memories.

If memories are this suseptible, should we really trust historical accounts and more specifically the media?

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Very nice post Sam, tying historical events to the function and process of memory formation.

Reminds me of the thought police in 1984.


When we hear any kind of propaganda often enough we start to believe just for the reasons you describe.

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This page contains a single entry by hillm109 published on October 27, 2011 2:17 PM.

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