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Semi OT: Memories,,,Memories


Sepiatone
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While most of you were busy plowing through the umpteenth viewing of THE EDDIE DUCHIN STORY, I was on the H2 channel watching "Your Bleeped Up Brain", a series that explores how the brain works, and many of it's limitations when it comes to perception, data proccessing and the like. I was watching the episode concerning memory.

 

What struck me was the relation I experience with some of the issues it brought up. I can best example this in relation to movies, which is why I brought it up here as "Semi OT". The series had a specific name for this memory anamoly, but I can't recall it, NO joke intended...

 

It claimed that your memory has a tendency to embelish and/or delete certain aspects of past events and make your memory of certain events or occurances inexact. I've noticed this before without academically pondering the reasons.

 

Example: I'll see by checking out the daily schedule that TCM is showing a movie I haven't seen in say, 45-50 years. But I remember liking the movie very much, especially that one scene where the guy does this and that, and so and so, then says one of my favorite lines which goes, "Blah, blah, bladda blah".

 

So, the movie comes on, and I'm thrilled to be seeing it again after so long a time, and almost bouncing in my chair in anticipation of that favorite scene, and HERE IT COMES!

 

Only, the scene DOESN'T show the guy doing this and that, but rather that and this, and the LINE I remembered instead goes, 'Blah, blah, DE-bla-DA blah!"

 

And this sort of thing has happened to me several times. It's almost disappointing in a way. And movies I remember as being hilarious at the first viewing don't seem so funny when viewed years later.

 

Has this ever happened to anyone else out there?

 

Sepiatone

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There's always a scene in the tv series Cheers where Norm comes in the bar and says something funny to whoever greets him, like Sam or Woody. One time he comes in and Sam ask him how's it going and for years I thought Norm replied "it's a dog eat dog world Sammy and I'm wearing Milk Bones shorts." Every time I've seen it since then, he says underwear instead of shorts. I don't know if I heard it wrong or if it was changed before it went into syndication. I'm going with it was changed, because it was much funnier with shorts as the punch line.

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Sepiatone wrote:

<< It claimed that your memory has a tendency to embelish and/or delete certain aspects of past events and make your memory of certain events or occurances inexact. I've noticed this before without academically pondering the reasons.>>

 

This has been a major issue with the Roswell crash. They actually did an experiment with volunteers passing a staged accident and having them give testimony on what they saw. Neither said the same thing and all gave different accounts. Imagine the passage of time involving decades!

 

Regarding recognition memory, this was the reason why investigators had to interview eyewitnesses ASAP after the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 shortly after 9/11.

Did that ever paid off, several witnesses saw part of a wing fell off (turned out to be the tail fin) and lead the crash team to retrieve the missing piece solving the mystery.

 

Far as movies or television goes, this has happened to me, there are things I remembered seeing as a child and never viewed again until recently. Was my memory so far off the mark. Lesson learned!

 

Edited by: hamradio on Sep 13, 2013 12:45 PM

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  • 2 months later...

This happens to lots of people all the time. I can't remember if there was a scientific term for it, though. PBS ran a Scientific American series with Alan Alda some years ago (I miss that series) covering this in detail.

 

I think this is with us from birth as I recall the old kindergarten game of passing the sentence along to others in a circle by whispering it into the next person's ear and how it changes with each telling. I mean that's only 2 seconds before hearing it and re-telling it and it isn't related correctly.

 

I also have this problem with films with the same results as you when I've seen an old film for the first time in 10 or more years.

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