Table of contents:
- As we recall memories, we change them each time. Strong emotions associated with memory can distort them. What do we really remember?
- Selective memorization
- We remember here, we don't remember here - the subsequent adjustment
- Contamination - mixing information
- Memories to order
- Why do we compose?
Video: "Yes, There Was No Such Thing !!!" What Do We Really Remember? - Self-development
As we recall memories, we change them each time. Strong emotions associated with memory can distort them. What do we really remember?
Such a property of our psyche as bias has been known for many hundreds of years. All world religions say that our consciousness is "clouded by passions" and are looking for ways to make it "enlightened". In modern psychology, the term " emotional-motivational distortions of cognitive processes " is used. But the essence of the idea is still the same: our desires (motivation) and our emotional state affect what we see, how we reason and make decisions.
Passions (emotions and motivation) affect our memory as well. At first, it was believed that the human brain works like a video recorder, impartially recording everything that happens. And that, if necessary, we can extract and recall these "objective data".
But, first of all, we remember information selectively. Selectivity is determined by the strongest emotion. Imagine, for example, that you get a bad hotel room while on vacation. The mood is ruined, and under the influence of this bad mood, you capture (and best remember) negative details that confirm your first impression.
If at first it seemed that the room as a whole was uncomfortable and ugly, then details were added - uncomfortable furniture, the creak of the door handle, dust on the windowsill, old plumbing. Positive details, for example, a beautiful view from the window, good sound insulation, are ignored and not remembered.
We remember here, we don't remember here - the subsequent adjustment
Secondly, information in our memory does not lie dead weight, in complete inviolability. You have already returned from vacation, a couple of months have passed, and suddenly somewhere in the media or on the Internet you come across reviews about the same hotel in which you were. Or about a similar hotel in the same resort places (consciousness easily builds associative connections). These reviews have an emotional connotation that is superimposed on your feelings and experiences. It is not a fact that your opinion will radically change after that, but an adjustment (towards strengthening or weakening) the initial emotion will occur.
Contamination - mixing information
Under the influence of this adjustment, new details may come to mind. If you come across positive news about your hotel, you can even remember the beautiful view from the window; and if negative, then remember that the staff were also not very friendly. But, curiously, we do not always remember new details - unconscious contamination (mixing) of old and new information may occur.
What we have learned from the news, we begin to consider as part of our memories. Because it looks and sounds believable; it “looks like”, “it could be so,” so it was.
Memories to order
Third, the most interesting thing happens when we need to remember something. Purposeful memories are always a communicative situation. Simply put, we are trying to retrieve memories for someone and for a purpose. There is always a “customer” of memories (even if it is ourselves) and a question to which he wants to get an answer from us.
Imagine that someone who is very dear to you asks about your summer vacation at the hotel. For example, this is your elderly mother. You are very strongly motivated to make her stay comfortable and safe. And under the influence of this motivation, your memories will be instantly edited. Most likely, first of all, you will begin to remember the "most terrible thing" that can harm a loved one.
And if you are afraid that mom will still choose this hotel for vacation, you can further exaggerate the colors by adding some invented details to the negative memories. Your goal (conscious or not) is to keep your mom out of this hotel, and the memories will be edited to suit that goal.
Why do we compose?
Why do we easily (and often imperceptibly) finish building, complete our memories? The fact is that our consciousness operates not so much with individual facts as with stories.
For consciousness, semantic integrity, consistency of the narrative is important. And if we lack facts for a beautiful story, we easily invent them
Our memories are also stories, and depending on who and for what purpose we tell them, we add new details to them, which in fact did not exist.
A paradoxical conclusion can be drawn: we remember and remember not what actually happened, but what we want at the moment
In any memories (yours, others), make allowances for the emotional state. And, perhaps, you will be able to find out at least part of what "was in reality."