chapter  9
8 Pages

Psychology of Memory and Cognition

WithMartin A. Conway, Mark L. Howe, Lauren M. Knott

People have many beliefs about human memory. For example, many people believe that memories are like photographs or videos,1 that memories are a sort of detailed mental copy of “reality.” Indeed, people believe that the more detailed and the more specific and vivid the details in a memory, the more likely it is to be accurate. In the same vein, it is believed that the more emotional the remembered experience, the more accurate and more durable the memory. In contrast, a particularly insidious belief is that inconsistency in recall indicates an unreliable or inaccurate memory. These beliefs are hugely over-simplified, unsupported by the findings of scientific research, and often just plain wrong.2