You can’t trust your memory.
Memory is fluid. Every time you recall something you’re essentially rewriting it in your head.
Yet you’re prone to stubbornly trusting this copy of a copy of a copy — even if it no longer resembles the original:
Robert Burton describes an experiment in his book On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You Are Not, which everyone with a strong opinion should read. Immediately after the Challenger explosion in 1986, the psychologist Ulric Neisser asked 106 students to describe in writing where they were when they heard, who they were with, how they felt, what their first thoughts were. Two-and-a-half years later, the same students were assembled and asked to answer the same question in writing. The new descriptions were compared with the originals. They didn’t match. People had changed facts about where they were, who they were with, what they…
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