Table of contents:

To what extent can our memory distort reality?
To what extent can our memory distort reality?

Memory makes us who we are, but science has already accumulated many questions about this process. To what extent can our memory distort reality? Can memories be erased? Why sometimes the necessary information does not arrive on time? Is it possible to memorize faster and easier and how to contribute to this?

Childhood amnesia

Scientists have repeatedly wondered why we do not remember our life from the very beginning and where did the memories go until three years old. But what if they are, we just cannot extract them? What if we remember everything, but we don't know how to use our memory?

Scientists are also interested in childhood memories because children at the age of 3 still remember very well what happened before, but when they grow up, they completely forget their earliest memories. Sigmund Freud called this phenomenon infant amnesia.

Scientists have made sure that in the first year of life, the brain forms a huge number of new neural connections, and the child begins to train the brain in the womb.

The German psychologist of the 19th century Hermann Ebbinghaus was engaged in the study of this issue. He conducted a series of experiments to identify the limits of human memory and came to the conclusion that a person amazingly quickly forgets everything that he learns. If you do not apply special efforts to memorize, the brain weeds out half of the new knowledge within an hour after receiving it. After a month, he remembers only 2-3% of what he taught. Therefore, when mastering new knowledge, we work on memorization, conduct business games so that new skills better "take root" thanks to strong emotions, meaning and involvement. If you do not work on memorization and practice, only 3% of the newly acquired knowledge will remain!


However, scientists have not yet come to a consensus as to why we do not remember the first events. Among the versions, speech has not yet been developed up to three years, namely, speech helps to better package and store events. Another version is that parents and the environment do not attach importance to the importance of memorizing events in the first years of our life. There is also an assumption about the insufficient development of the brain for memorization in very early childhood.

Scientists continue to argue about the reasons for "infant amnesia", but everyone is in solidarity in the belief that what is happening, despite the fact that we clearly do not remember it, affects us. The events of the earliest childhood even influence our adult life, although we cannot remember and describe them.

As for our memories, it is hardly worth trusting them 100%. We only heard about some events from our childhood, although we ourselves do not remember them, and our ability to visualize what we hear can create the effect of a false memory.

False memories

What can I say about childhood, if sometimes I'm not sure that you remember what was happening yesterday! And knowing about visualization and about the tendency of many people to fantasize and analyze what happened, can you be sure that we remember everything correctly and do not distort the events?

Crime psychologist Julia Shaw considers the testimony-based justice system to be untenable because it is human nature to distort events. It is believed that certain groups of individuals - with low intelligence, with mental illness - can suffer from poor memory. Nevertheless, there are cases when perfectly healthy adults who do not fall into these categories do not separate fact from fiction, making small or large memory errors. It is important to take this into account in life and work.

If you are a leader, anticipate possible distortions in people's memory in your proactive management - prevent misconceptions by organizing teamwork (the whole team is unlikely to make the same memory mistake), conduct business games so that important information and the most needed skills are remembered as much as possible stronger.


Without memory, we are not us?

It is believed that without memory, you can turn into another person. This scares a lot of people. However, let us remember what happens to children's memory, and the fact that the events of the earliest childhood affect our life even if we do not remember them and are unable to reproduce them in memory.

Even without memory, we remain ourselves, this has been proven by experiments with people in whom a certain part of the brain ceased to work, and therefore they could not remember what happened to them even quite recently. Firstly, their unique personality did not change, and secondly, the acquired skill improved every time, although there were no memories of its training in the memory. Thus, our identity is not in our memories.

Associative memory can help out

Modern man is multitasking, and this often leads to absent-mindedness. Associative memory can come to the rescue. Associate an important reminder with something unusual, even a toy: such a visual signal will remind you much more reliably than expensive digital means of dealing with absent-mindedness.


Working memory

Does it happen to you that you are distracted from the main task and begin to remember other matters? If this happens, keep in mind that the amount of working memory is limited: being distracted, you waste the necessary resources.

Working memory can be compared to the main memory of our computer, to the processor's cache. The amount of working memory will increase if you learn to ignore the unimportant. This feature affects intelligence and the ability to effectively cope with current tasks. Scientists believe that the size of the working memory can be equated to the mind, because everyone has a lot of information, and not everyone knows how to use it effectively.

Train your working memory - learn to focus on the task and ignore the rest, work on solving difficult situations, develop mindfulness. If you want your employees to be smarter - play games for employees using verbal counting, with the need to step out of your comfort zone and do unusual things in everyday life.


Why do we forget

If memory is designed to store knowledge, then why does it fail to cope with its task, and we constantly forget what we have learned? Memory failures or is it so necessary?

Scientists became interested in the processes of forgetting and came to the conclusion that the brain needs this process, moreover, it spends quite a lot of resources on it. The brain does this so that the person makes more and more rational decisions. It turns out that over the years we become wiser through the processes of forgetting.

Forgetting helps to better adapt to new situations, not to apply outdated solutions and knowledge to new, already changed conditions. If with each choice in memory all possible options, including those that have lost their relevance, will pop up, decisions will be made indefinitely.


Seven plus minus two

In the course of research, it was found that a person is best at memorizing a certain number of blocks of information. These are 5, 7, 9. Back in the 1950s, there was an article dedicated to this called "The magic number seven, plus or minus two." Many have assumed that the working memory can accommodate from five to nine blocks of information, and each block can be quite large.

This information is actively used by interface and event designers. Developing a website - try to have no more than 9 items in the main menu, preferably five.Facilitate the team, try to discuss 5 - 9 important issues and make 5 - 9 useful decisions: it will be more difficult for the participants to keep in mind. And when deciding something important, do not be distracted by nonsense - this will reduce the quality of decisions.

Popular by topic