How accurate are your memories

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Do you think your memories are accurate?

Did something bad happen to you in the past?
Did someone mistreat you long ago?
Was your life always full of pain?

Well i have a bit of a weird news today. Those things might have never happened!
It was previously thought that people's minds record everything that happens then remember some of those things and forget others but what was recently discovered is that some of the memories we recall never actually existed!

In my previous article Early memories and psychotherapy i explained how the memories people recall can tell a lot about their personalities and psychological desires.

People usually recall the memories that best describe their unmet needs and views of life. But do you know that a part of that process involves altering the memories to meet their current views?

How memories are alerted

Humans do their best to protect their views, psychological identities and important beliefs. In my article How people twist the facts to support their beliefs i explained how people change their perception of certain things just to see a reality that matches their beliefs.

The one popular example that can describe this well is the guy who thinks that people hate him. In such a case he won't interpret their facial expressions correctly but instead his mind will twist their facial expressions to make it seem like they hate him.

Now because everything that happens inside the mind works towards supporting the important beliefs and values so many of your old memories get tweaked to prove to you that you are right.

Of course you aren't going to imagine something that didn't happen one day ago but instead your older memories or the ones you can't fully recall might get completely twisted so that you end up recalling things that never happened.

How accurate are your memories

In the Solid Self confidence program i said that there are two major factors that affect the accuracy of memories. The way you perceive events and the way you recall what happened.

You should know that even if some of your old memories seem vivid or real they might have never happened. The good news i have for your is that even when you recall incorrect memories you can still use them to understand yourself well.

In my previous article Early memories and personality i explained how the memories you recall, even if they weren't real, can give a perfect idea about your psychological makeup and unmet needs.

In short, while you shouldn't trust your old memories 100% you can still use them to understand yourself well.

2knowmyself is not a complicated medical website nor a boring online encyclopedia but rather a place where you will find simple, to the point and effective information that is backed by psychology and presented in a simple way that you can understand and apply. If you think that this is some kind of marketing hype then see what other visitors say about 2knowmyself.

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