Center for Mind, Brain, and Culture

Lecture | Daniel Schacter | The Seven Sins of Memory:  An Update 

Episode Summary

Lecture | Daniel Schacter | The Seven Sins of Memory:  An Update 

Episode Notes

Over a decade ago, I proposed that memory errors can b e classified into seven fundamental categories or "sins": transience, absent-mindedness, blocking, misattribution, suggestibility, bias, and persistence. During the past decade, much has been learned about each of the seven sins, especially as a result of research that has combined the methods of psychology and neuroscience. This presentation will provide an update on our current understanding of the seven sins, with a focus on the sins of absent-mindedness (failures of attention that result in memory errors) and misattribution (when information is mistakenly assigned to the wrong source, resulting in memory distrotions such as false recognition). I will discuss recent research on absent-mindedness that has examined the role of mind wandering in memory for lectures, and will present evidence indicating that interpolated testing can counter such absent-minded lapses. I will also discuss recent research that has clarified both cognitive and neural aspects of misattribution, and consider evidence for the idea that misattribution and other memory sins can be conceived of as byproducts of otherwise adaptive features of memory. September 29, 2014