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Book Quote - Episodic Memory And The Seven 'Sins' of Memory

Posted Jan 14 2010 12:00am

"Schacter (1999, 2001) recently classified the misdeeds of memory into seven basic 'sins:' transience, absent-mindedness, blocking, misattribution, suggestibility, bias, and persistence.  The first three sins involve types of forgetting.  transience involves decreasing accessibility of information over time; absent-mindedness entails inattentive or shallow processing that contributes to weak memories of ongoing events or forgetting to do things in the future; and blocking refers to the temporary inaccessibility of information that is stored in memory.  The next three sins all involve distortion or inaccuracy.  Misattribution involves attributing a recollection or idea to the wrong source; suggestibility refers to memories that are implanted at the time of retrieval; and bias involves retrospective distortions and unconscious influences that are related to current knowledge and beliefs.  The seventh and final sin, persistence, refers to intrusive memories that we cannot forget, even though we wish that we could."

- From Episodic Memory, Chapter 5 ("Misattribution, false recognition, and the sins of memory"), pages 71-72 

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