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The Memory Illusion: Remembering, Forgetting, and the Science of False Memory

The Memory Illusion: Remembering, Forgetting, and the Science of False Memory (Paperback)

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Synopsis

Think you have a good memory? Think again. Memories are our most cherished possessions. We rely on them every day of our lives. They make us who we are. And yet the truth is they are far from being the accurate record of the past we like to think they are. True, we can all admit to having suffered occasional memory lapses, such as entering a room and immediately forgetting why, or suddenly being unable to recall the name of someone we've met dozens of times. But what if our minds have the potential for more profound errors, that enable the manipulation or even outright fabrication of our memories? In The Memory Illusion, forensic psychologist and memory expert Dr Julia Shaw uses the latest research to show the astonishing variety of ways in which our brains can indeed be led astray. She shows why we can sometimes misappropriate other people's memories, subsequently believing them to be our own. She explains how police officers can imprison an innocent man for life on the basis of many denials and just one confession.

She demonstrates the way radically false memories can be deliberately implanted, leading people to believe they had tea with Prince Charles, or committed crimes that never happened. And she reveals how, in spite of all this, we can improve our memory through simple awareness of its fallibility. Fascinating and unnerving in equal measure, The Memory Illusion offers a unique insight into the human brain, challenging you to question how much you can ever truly know about yourself.

Philosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesPsychologyCognition & cognitive psychologyMemoryScience & MathematicsScience: general issuesPopular science Publisher: Cornerstone Publication Date: 16/06/2016 ISBN-13: 9781847947628  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Dr Julia Shaw is a psychological scientist in the Department of Law and Social Sciences at London South Bank University. She is best known for her work in the area of false memories - memories of things that never actually happened. She regularly consults as a memory expert in legal cases, and has given talks to businesses, the police and the military on how to avoid common memory mistakes. Her work has been featured in publications including the Guardian, The Times, the Daily Mail and the New Yorker, and she writes regularly for Scientific American.

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