People overestimate their memory

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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

Childhood Memories

Memory is essentially an activation of neural networks inside the brain, which are dynamic in nature.

We can form memories as infants, but we do not have the ability to store them until we are at least two years of age. It is also a fact that we cannot remember being babies. According to studies, if we have early memories of us being infants, it is likely that they are fabricated memories.

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Childhood amnesia

On average, people’s memories stretch back no farther than the age of three and a half.

New science suggests that when we move into adulthood, the brain must let go of much of our childhood.

Memory cues

They are objects or events that help trigger an action or a memory of that action. 

They can be either intentional (a reminder on our phone) or unintentional (seeing a product at the store which reminds us of something that we forgot to add to our shopping list.)

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