Monday, August 3, 2015

#PSEUDOSCIENCE - Your Memory Sucks!

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Since I am derelict in my blog posting duties and I'm in a skeptical mindset... aaaaaand I've had a couple beers... Let's talk about memory.
One of the most important concepts in the discipline of skepticism is to know yourself and to be conscious of your shortcomings.
Like many others, I have a terrible time with names. I have no trouble with faces, unless you ask me to describe a stranger I just saw. If I see them again, I will remember what I was doing the last time I saw them, what we talked about and possibly, what I was on my way to do next.
The whole point is, our memory is flawed and subjective. This is why, in my professional life and my Squatching life, I choose to write details down [or record them in other ways] as they occur.
It could be a name, a phone number to call back or a GPS coordinate of a place I'd like to revisit... my brain is full of other details and I am not necessarily the master of what gets permanently stored.
If you read the article [HERE], you will find some insight into the frailties of human memory and why witness testimony is not held in high regard in the field of science.

The article follows a recent study:
Researchers found that simply observing another person performing an act can create false memories that we performed that act.
It goes further to describe other tests: 
This research follows other research demonstrating that imagining an event is often enough to create the false memory of that event. Imagination activates many of the same brain areas that a true memory would. In essence, a memory of the imagination may over time become indistinguishable from a memory of a real event – and a false memory is born.
And goes further, yet:
This is especially relevant to many UFO abduction therapists who use hypnosis and encourage their clients to imagine themselves being abducted. This “research” is, in fact, optimized to produce (rather than uncover) false memories of alien abduction.
These are reasons to be careful about accepting witness testimony as fact, when we know our memory can be easily modified by outside or internal forces.

For the full article and a link to the study, click [HERE]

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