So… we are susceptible to false memories? But… but… the Gospels?

In a unique memory-distortion study with people with extraordinary memory ability, individuals with highly superior autobiographical memory (HSAM) were as susceptible as controls to false memory. The findings suggest that HSAM individuals reconstruct their memories using associative grouping, as demonstrated by a word-list task, and by incorporating postevent information, as shown in misinformation tasks. The findings also suggest that the reconstructive memory mechanisms that produce memory distortions are basic and widespread in humans, and it may be unlikely that anyone is immune. The assumption that no one is immune from false memories has important implications in the legal and clinical psychology fields, where contamination of memory has had particularly important consequences in the past.

via False memories in highly superior autobiographical memory individuals.

Tucking this away for later.

Joel L. Watts
Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

4 thoughts on “So… we are susceptible to false memories? But… but… the Gospels?

  1. That’s what I keep telling my wife; she just thinks she’s married to me! (After over four decades of being together, you’ve got to have fun with this stuff!)

  2. We all experience this frequently if we would only admit to it. I think we all have a difficult time separating real memory from facts we have been told at an early age and also from dreams from long ago. I really wonder what thinking person would need a study to recognize this fact. I see no reason to think this has ever changed over the centuries.

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