When we recall something that occurred in the past, our recollection is not accurate like a video camera. Some if not much of our memory is fabricated. Our fuzzy, faulty memory has been covered before both at this blog and in many books and articles: the memory's shiftiness is by now notorious. So why I am writing about it again?
Even though I know about memory's tricks, I need a reminder frequently because it's so, so easy to forget that we forget; the fact that we re-produce, re-shape, re-construct our memories is simply forgotten. A very good reminder is this article from The Conversation titled "Serial: your memory can play tricks on you – here’s how" which I recommend to you. Excerpt:
It is also important to understand that memories are not constructed from precise records of what actually happened – but rather from records of what we experienced. Our perception is shaped by all sorts of things: our knowledge, our mood, the social context, our physical perspective, even our vocabulary (the language we have available seems to affect the way we encode and retrieve memories). But critically, the reconstruction process itself is also shaped by all of these factors.
Context and knowledge therefore provide a framework not only for encoding memories but also for retrieving them. And because both context and knowledge change over time, so can the memories.
Click to read the rest.