How the Mind Forgets and Remembers
A groundbreaking work by one of the world’s foremost memory experts that offers the first framework to explain the basic memory miscues that we all encounter.
Daniel L. Schacter, chairman of Harvard University’s Psychology Department, is internationally recognised as one of the world’s authorities on memory, explains that just as the seven deadly sins, the seven memory sins appear routinely in everyday life, and why it is a good thing that they happen and surprisingly vital to a keen mind.
The author explains how transience reflects a weakening of memory over time, how absent-mindedness occurs when failures of attention sabotage memory and how blocking happens when we can’t retrieve a name we know well. Three other sins involve distorted memories: misattribution (assigning a memory to the wrong source), suggestibility (implanting false memories), and bias (rewriting the past based on present beliefs). The seventh sin, persistence, concerns intrusive recollections that we cannot forget – even when we wish we could.
Daniel Schacter illustrates decades of research into memory lapses with compelling, and often bizarre, examples – for example, the violinist who placed a priceless Stradivarius on top of his car before driving off and the national memory champion who was plagued by absentmindedness. This book also explores recent research, such as the imaging of the brain that actually shows memories being formed.
Beautifully written, this original book provides a fascinating new look at our brains and what we more generally think of as our minds.
“Schacter is chair of Harvard University’s psychology department and easily the most erudite… manages to give a properly rounded account of how it feels to be the owner of a memory… As an introduction to the broad range of memory’s ‘failings’, his book is highly readable.”
‘Times Literary Supplement’
“You could hardly ask for a more knowledgeable interpreter of the scientific literature… The exposition is solid, the advice measured.”
‘New York Times Book Review’
“A wonderful book that provides exactly the summary of recent research on memory that is needed… Schacter’s book is by far the best popular book on memory I have ever read.”
“Don’t forget to remember to buy this book … an international authority in this fascinating area of human psychology… a captivating read… Schacter has broken new ground with this book and it is well worth a read for anyone interested in the mind or memory.”
‘Sunday Business Post’