7 Sins of Memory - EssayTank.com

7 Sins of Memory - EssayTank.com

The seven sins of memory are some crucial occurrences that affect the ability of individuals in their daily activities. The sins result from specific circumstances that interfere with the brain.

Daniel Schacter wrote a book The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers that analyzed how the mind works. He reviewed the mind’s ability to remember and forget, referred to as the strengths and weaknesses. The seven sins are sometimes considered as the costs that one pays for the assistances gained from the mind. Although the sins limit the functionality of the brain, Schacter believes that they are advantageous to the memory. He argued that continuously committing to something leads to Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome despite being crucial to long-term memory. The seven sins are;


This is a naturally occurring condition that makes one unable to access certain parts of their memory mainly due to old age, traumatic brain injury or damaged hippocampus. In this case, the affected individuals can sometimes have the ability to forget past events while only remembering the most recent ones. Also, both proactive and retroactive interference inhibits the remembrance of new information and inhibition of remembering past information, respectively. Transience helps one become flexible in making decisions as they do not have to rely on the past event for reference.


This is the distraction of the mind and the fading of attention, making one forget what they were to do; otherwise, it would be easy for one to remember. It is the interaction between memory and attention. For example, people find it hard to locate their keys while going out. This event might happen as one might not pay attention to small tasks. The best way to fight absent-mindedness is by exercising deep thinking, using cues, and noting things down. 


This sin happens when one is unable to recall something temporarily, although the information is just on the tongue’s tip. For instance, one may feel like knowing something, but it ultimately fails to come out of the tongue loudly. One should think of some letters of the forgotten word or try to connect the words to particular occasions. 


In this case, the presence of deception and a leading question causes memory misinformation thus giving out inaccurate accounts of events. For example, a witness may provide wrong information if there are questions to lead them. It is essential to retrieve information immediately the event occurs to avoid suggestibility. 


The presence of current information and beliefs cause distortions that lead to bias. A person can create distortions through unconsciously modifying memories. In this case, one relies on their current knowledge to try to correct past events.   


The is the sin of not being able to forget things. Despite the condition being beneficial to people, it may sometimes lead to post-traumatic stress since they may be able to remember full details of what happened in the past.  


In this case, a person attributes an event to an event they think they witnessed or heard, but it did not happen in reality. There is a tendency to relate instances, thus leading to the delivery of inappropriate responses.

There are specific mechanisms that show the strengths and sins of memory. Sometimes the sins lead to inconveniences, especially if one wishes to communicate information that is relevant to a particular event. These sins include transience, absent-mindedness, blocking, bias, suggestibility, misattribution and persistence. 


Published on: 22 Apr 2020

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