Not all memories really happened: What experts wish you knew about false memories

This article was originally published by Scientific American.

Scientific American Every memory you have ever had is chock-full of errors. I would even go as far as saying that memory is largely an illusion.

This is because our perception of the world is deeply imperfect, our brains only bother to remember a tiny piece of what we actually experience, and every time we remember something we have the potential to change the memory we are accessing.

I often write about the ways in which our memory leads us astray, with a particular focus on “false memories.” False memories are recollections that feel real but are not based on actual experience.

For this particular article I invited a few top memory researchers to comment on what they wish everyone knew about their field.

First up, we have Elizabeth Loftus from the University of California, Irvine, who is one of the founders of the area of false memory research, and is considered one of the most “eminent psychologists of the 20th century.

Elizabeth Loftus says you need independent evidence to corroborate your memories.

According to Loftus: “The one take home message that I have tried to convey in my writings, and classes, and in my TED talk is this: Just because someone tells you something with a lot of confidence and detail and emotion, it doesn’t mean it actually happened. You need independent corroboration to know whether you’re dealing with an authentic memory or something that is a product of some other process.”

Next up, we have memory scientist Annelies Vredeveldt from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, who has done fascinating work on how well we remember when we recall things with other people.

Annelies Vredeveldt says to be careful how you ask questions about a memory.

According to Vredeveldt: “What I’d like everyone to know is how (not) to probe for a memory of an event.

When you are trying to get a story out of someone, be it about a witnessed crime or a wild night out, it seems natural to ask them lots of questions about it. However, asking closed questions, such as “what was the color of his hair?” or worse, leading questions, such as “he was a redhead, wasn’t he?” often leads to incorrect answers.

It is much better to let the person tell the story of their own accord, without interrupting and without asking questions afterwards. At most, you might want to ask the person if they can tell you a bit more about something they mentioned, but limit yourself to an open and general prompt such as “can you tell me more about that?”

Research shows that stories told in response to free-recall prompts are much more accurate than stories told in response to a series of closed questions. So if you really want to get to the bottom of something, restrain yourself and don’t ask too many questions!”

Finally, we have Chris French from Goldsmiths, University of London, who has done decades of research on anomalous and paranormal memories, and believes that some of these may be the result of false memories.

Chris French wants you to stop believing common memory myths.

“My top 5 take-home messages on memory:

1. Memory does not work like a video camera, accurately recording all of the details of witnessed events. Instead, memory (like perception) is a constructive process. We typically remember the gist of an event rather than the exact details.

2. When we construct a memory, errors can occur. We will typically fill in gaps in our memories with what we think we must have experienced, not necessarily what we actually did experience. We may also include misinformation we encountered after the event. We will not even be consciously aware that this has happened.

3. We not only distort memories for events that we have witnessed, we may have completely false memories for events that never occurred at all. Such false memories are particularly likely to arise in certain contexts, such as (unintentionally) through the use of certain dubious psychotherapeutic techniques or (intentionally) in psychology experiments.

4. There is no convincing evidence to support the existence of the psychoanalytic concept of repression, despite it being a widely accepted concept.

5. There is currently no way to distinguish, in the absence of independent evidence, whether a particular memory is true or false. Even memories which are detailed and vivid and held with 100 percent conviction can be completely false.”

The take home message remains: Your memory is incredibly malleable. Because you often cannot spot a false memory once it has taken hold, the only way to prevent false memories is to know that they exist and to avoid things that facilitate them.

Want to learn more about the science of false memory? Learn about the work of Loftus, Vredeveldt, French and hundreds of other fascinating memory scientists in my new book “The Memory Illusion.

20 Hilarious Motivational Posters For Lazy People

20 Hilarious Motivational Posters For Lazy People



We live in an age where if we use social media, there’s a good chance we’ll come across several motivational quotes each day. Most of the time, we just take these quotes at face value and assume there is some merit to them. But many of these quotes imply hard work is required to reach goals, and for some people, hard work is a deal-breaker. So, here are 20 “motivational” posters for people who just don’t really want to do stuff.

For Netflix Lovers

It used to be procrastinating with a good book or a even just texting, but nowadays, Netflix has become the ultimate procrastination tool. It’s amazing how quickly time flies when you’re binge watching a great show!

Not Worth the Effort

If you often think to yourself, “Why bother?” this is the poster for you!

Distance Yourself

Distance sounds like a great idea. You don’t need that kind of positive influence in your life.

Unforgettable

It might not sound glamorous, but who doesn’t want to eat pizza in their underwear and watch Judge Judy? Trick question: No one!



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Reduce sugar intake by replacing fizzy drinks
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What does it take to win success and influence? Some people think that in today’s hyper-competitive world, it’s the tough, take-no-prisoners type who comes out on top. But in reality, argues New York Times bestselling author Dave Kerpen, it’s actually those with the best people skills who win the day. Those who build the right relationships. Those who truly understand and connect with their colleagues, their customers, their partners.  Those who can teach, lead, and inspire.
 
In a world where we are constantly connected, and social media has become the primary way we communicate, the key to getting ahead is being the person others like, respect, and trust. Because no matter who you are or what profession you’re in, success is contingent less on what you can do for yourself, but on what other people are willing to do for you.  Here, through 53 bite-sized, easy-to-execute, and often counterintuitive tips, you’ll learn to master the 11 People Skills that will get you more of what you want at work, at home, and in life. For example, you’ll learn:
 
·         The single most important question you can ever ask to win attention in a meeting
·         The one simple key to networking that nobody talks about
·         How to remain top of mind for thousands of people, everyday
·         Why it usually pays to be the one to give the bad news
·         How to blow off the right people
·         And why, when in doubt, buy him a Bonsai
 
A book best described as “How to Win Friends and Influence People for today’s world,” The Art of People shows how to charm and win over anyone to be more successful at work and outside of it.

Creative Community Builder’s Handbook: How to Transform Communities Using Local Assets, Arts, and Culture

Put the power of arts and culture to work in your community Part 1 of this unique guide distills research and emerging ideas behind culturally driven community development and explains key underlying principles. You’ll understand the arts impact on community well-being and have the rationale for engaging others. Find inspiration and ideas from twenty case studies Part 2 gives you ten concrete strategies for building on the unique qualities of your own community. Each strategy is illustrated by two case studies taken from a variety of cities, small towns, and neighborhoods across the United States. You’ll learn how people from all walks of life used culture and creativity as a glue to bind together people, ideas, enterprises, and institutions to make places more balanced and healthy. These examples are followed in Part 3 with six steps to assessing, planning, and implementing creative community building projects: 1. Assess Your Situation and Goals; 2. Identify and Recruit Effective Partners; 3. Map Values, Strengths, Assets, and History; 4. Focus on Your Key Asset, Vision, Identity, and Core Strategies; 5. Craft a Plan That Brings the Identity to Life; 6. Secure Funding, Policy Support, and Media Coverage. Detailed guidance, hands-on worksheets, and a hypothetical community sample walk you through the entire process. Each section includes additional resources as well as an appendix listing books, web sites, organizations, and research studies. By understanding the theoretical context (Part 1), learning from case studies (Part 2), and following the six steps (Part 3), you’ll be able to build a more vibrant, creative, and equitable community.

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Our fruit Infused Water bottle are the perfect way to increase your daily water intake in a creative and fun way.
They also give you a multitude of benefits, some of them are,
Improved digestion
Increased energy
Increased metabolism
Increased nutrient & vitamin intake
Detoxify your system
Reduce sugar intake by replacing fizzy drinks
Weight loss
-And so much more…

EASY TO USE AND CLEAN UP
1.Select your favorite fruit such as lemon, kiwi, strawberry, watermelon, mango, apple, mint… you have infinite amount of available combinations.
2. Put the ingredients into infuser basket and put back into the bottle, fill remainder with water.
3. Give it a quick shake and your ready to go! Or you can chill it in the fridge for 15 mins to get a much stronger and intense burst flavor.
4.When finished, Our Infuser conveniently disassembles into 4 pieces for EASY CLEANING!

Why Push The Limitz Infuser Bottle?
We have come up with a durable yet easy to clean Infuser water Bottle.
Our Detox Infuser water bottles are made from high Quality, Eco-Friendly, and Shatterproof TRITAN Plastic (BPA free). With the convenient carry handle you can simple hook it onto your backpack for easy travelling.
Another great benefit is there is an awesome tasting Detox recipe included with every bottle to get you started with your new purchase.

So don’t hesitate another moment, Click the Add To Card Button NOW to start drinking the most amazing flavored water you’ve ever tasted!