Your mental timeline is skewed

Research has shown that we often underestimate the amount of time that has passed from long ago, and overestimate the amount of time that has passed since more recent events.

@gauravb

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Self Improvement

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Early memories are not reliable

Scientists believe that it is impossible to recall the first few years of life. Many of the necessary brain structures for memory have not yet matured at the time. It means that it is physiologically impossible for your brain to remember personal events from infancy.

Any recollections are patched together from other knowledge we acquired later on.

If we learn facts while we are doing something, we will be able to recall them better, when we are doing that same thing again.

You can use this information to your advantage: for instance, try chewing a particular gum while studying.

You remember an overall impression

Try to describe a person in detail, and you will find that you remember their general features, but the particular details are challenging to recall.

Remembering the overall impression is an advantage. The details of a face may change from day to day, but the general features will remain - meaning that you can still recognize your friend even with a different hairstyle.

Many people believe their memory is better than average. We forget the times our memory has failed us, and prefer to recall all the times it succeeded. Then we proceed to assume next time we will be accurate.

Subscription services can take advantage of this by offering a free trial for a limited period, after which automatic payments will be made. Many people forget to cancel their subscription.

Posts from Facebook and Instagram can help us to retain certain events. Yet, our memories distort the past events by remembering only the details we recalled and forgetting the information linked to it.

It may make some memories seem more meaningful and memorable than they actually were.

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RELATED IDEAS

We all can form complex false memories in us, and it can even impact our decision making and future behavior. Planting false memories in a person can be used to tackle certain disorders like obesity and alcoholism.

Memory researchers have concluded that it is possible to induce fictional memories of the past in volunteers and even make them believe in some past criminal deeds that never happened.

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IDEAS

  • In the early 1900s, Sigmund Freud gave childhood amnesia its name. The most commonly accepted explanation for childhood amnesia was that children couldn't form stable memories until age 7 - even though evidence for this idea was lacking.
  • In the late 1980s, experiments revealed that children three and younger keep their memories, although it is limited. At 6 months of age, infants' memories last for a day, and by age 2, for a year. At around age 6, children begin to forget many of their earliest memories.

  • You can set up certain things that will serve as cues. You intentionally set up a certain item or event which will appear at an appropriate time and serve as a reminder. 
  • You can also decide that something which occurs naturally will serve as a cue. You intentionally take advantage of something that you encounter naturally or which occurs naturally in your everyday life, and use it as a reminder for something that you need to do.

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