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Old November 19th, 2012, 07:53 PM   #11

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How about memories of one who had no idea of what was actually going on, but much later discovers the reason for those memories. Personal example:

When I was dating the girl who became my wife, I lived in the country some five or six miles from her home in the city. Our house my father rented from a farmer sat some 200 yards or so from his house. Our families were rather close friends. Anyway, there was a certain route I would drive to Jan's house almost nightly. As I would leave home, my father would casually give the standard warning to be home at such-and-such time. But there were occasions when he would tell me, most seriously, to "not come home down Sandy Run... take the highway... I mean it." Okay, dad. Being young and in my own world, I really didn't give it much thought, though I retained the memory of such occurrences. Many years later he told me the reason was that the farmer was a leader in the KKK and held gatherings that my usual route ran very close to. I had no idea at the time of these incidents.

What I find important here, is that reason explained in my mind why other incidents of my life occurred back then, yet I cannot credit the reason as absolute truth in the cause of those other memories. I wonder if this is a common thing? It is easy to insert an assumption of cause into a memory as fact, I guess.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 08:21 PM   #12

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartacuss View Post
How about memories of one who had no idea of what was actually going on, but much later discovers the reason for those memories. Personal example:

When I was dating the girl who became my wife, I lived in the country some five or six miles from her home in the city. Our house my father rented from a farmer sat some 200 yards or so from his house. Our families were rather close friends. Anyway, there was a certain route I would drive to Jan's house almost nightly. As I would leave home, my father would casually give the standard warning to be home at such-and-such time. But there were occasions when he would tell me, most seriously, to "not come home down Sandy Run... take the highway... I mean it." Okay, dad. Being young and in my own world, I really didn't give it much thought, though I retained the memory of such occurrences. Many years later he told me the reason was that the farmer was a leader in the KKK and held gatherings that my usual route ran very close to. I had no idea at the time of these incidents.

What I find important here, is that reason explained in my mind why other incidents of my life occurred back then, yet I cannot credit the reason as absolute truth in the cause of those other memories. I wonder if this is a common thing? It is easy to insert an assumption of cause into a memory as fact, I guess.
It might be very hard to tell for sure, but one method of investigating would be to compare written records that coincide with the times in memory. For example, you might be able to check your report cards, diaries, photos of when you were that age, etc. to see if the it is possible that the other things occurred at the same time.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 03:25 AM   #13

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I had an experience once when I was talking to some people at night and then I went to sleep. During the night I had a dream about the same people saying something, and the next day I woke up believing they had said that. When I spoke to them the next day they helped me realize they hadn't.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 03:31 AM   #14
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What this is making me think about are cases of denial by Japan over Nanjing or some of the current claims made in China.
Sorry, but denial of this kind isn't a case of false memories, it's simply either a lie, or simply deliberately ignoring details when the person in question knew perfectly well what was going on.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 03:37 AM   #15

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Sorry, but denial of this kind isn't a case of false memories, it's simply either a lie, or simply deliberately ignoring details when the person in question knew perfectly well what was going on.
Some things are so difficult to face that the human brain seeks an alternative, especially if people come across it over and over again. People being told that something very shameful didn't really happen may form false memories about it.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 05:06 AM   #16
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Some things are so difficult to face that the human brain seeks an alternative, especially if people come across it over and over again. People being told that something very shameful didn't really happen may form false memories about it.
Is there any evidence to support this in the case of the Nanjing Massacre or, let's say, German denials about any knowledge of the Holocaust? If anything, in the case of trauma, it's the victims who repress their memories, not the perpetrators.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 07:39 AM   #17

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Is there any evidence to support this in the case of the Nanjing Massacre or, let's say, German denials about any knowledge of the Holocaust? If anything, in the case of trauma, it's the victims who repress their memories, not the perpetrators.
I think it can work both ways. The human mind has an amazing ability to justify thoughts, actions, and behaviors . . . . one of the most interesting characteristics is the ability to deceive oneself.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 07:57 AM   #18

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It turns out that we don't just forget things, we seem to remember false memories which can be implemented by manipulating factors. I suppose this is why old people tell lies about when they were young, making me wonder if we recall what we want instead of what happened. How well do you remember your childhood?
Have no recollection of it prior to age 7 or 8, and even after that remember very little. I have what they call a "boss memory", meaning I only remember the important bits and forget the rest. Also, I'm too self-absorbed and involved with what's going on to rethink the past though obviously there are certain things that stand out and which I remember very well.

"we seem to remember false memories which can be implemented by manipulating factors."

Hmm. I do remember reading somewhere that each time we recall something the details of that thing change (however slightly). I'm not entirely convinced though; it is possible to remember something just the way it happened, depends on how much attention you were paying in the first place.

On the other hand, I seem to keep mis-remembering certain things. Like movies, for instance. I watched 'Good Will Hunting' a few months ago and I could swear that's not how the movie had ended the first time I'd seen it. I do that with movies all the time: I follow a story from many angles and if I don't like the ending I think of what could have made a better ending and this alternate ending is so vivid in my mind that that's what I end up remembering. Often when I run into a movie I've seen a number of times I'm surprised that I not only changed the dialogues in my mind but also the tone and import of them. It's like watching a new movie entirely.

There's a very good reason I do not rely on my memory very much. And the law doesn't take the testimonies of first-hand witnesses very seriously.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 11:58 AM   #19

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I can remember some details from when I was less than 1 year old. I have told my mother about these details (which I can still see clearly in my mind's eye) and she was amazed.

I tend to remember conversations word for word.

But I can't remember what I did yesterday without really thinking about it. Give me a few years, though, and I will remember. Weird.
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Old November 20th, 2012, 12:11 PM   #20

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Memory and the mind is so tricky.
My late 95 year old father in law could forget how many
pills he's taken in a day, but he could remember sharp details
of when he was growing up, his time and names of men he served
with in the military.
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