Our expert says:
Actually, Chelle, that's an extremely interesting observation, and one that doesn't get investigated often enough. Leaving aside special memories of awful events, one can investigate by examining ordinary memories of ordinary and recent events. One finds that memories are much less exact and accurate than we thought they were. I'm interested in the relationship betwen what we recall and the stories we tell ourselves about events, as it were, the running commentary we give ourselves. Do we say to ourselves, "Let's see --- then as I was sitting near the window, the waiter brought over the menu..." and then see what we're saying ? If we put recent events into words afterwards, do those words shape the way we "see" what happened ?
Certain;y, we know from much research, that memories are never the sort of videotape or DVD record we used to assume, ready to re-run whenever we choose. And maybe we don't remember everything in the same way. Maybe in some events we do sort of "remove" ourselves from it and remember it like a third party watching, and for other events we recall it as we saw it, in the first person, and not the third person.
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