The scientific research literature on memory is enormous. Yet until now no single book has focused on the complex interrelationships of memory and belief. This book brings together eminent scholars from neuroscience, cognitive psychology, literature, and medicine to discuss such provocative issues as “false memories,” in which people can develop vivid recollections of events that never happened; retrospective biases, in which memories of past experiences are influenced by one’s current beliefs; and implicit memory, or the way in which nonconscious influences of past experience shape current beliefs.
Ranging from cognitive, neurological, and pathological perspectives on memory and belief, to relations between conscious and nonconscious mental processes, to memory and belief in autobiographical narratives, this book will be uniquely stimulating to scholars in several academic disciplines.
The decidedly interdisciplinary anthology brings together researchers from neuroscience, cognitive psychology, literature and medicine to discuss the nature of memory and belief… Researchers present interesting results indicating that one’s own memories of the past are strongly influenced by one’s present beliefs, current experience and even nonconscious influences. The picture of memory presented throughout these essays is both fascinating and disquieting… It is uncomfortable to be told that we do not know our own minds and past experiences as well as we think we do, but it makes for captivating reading… An interesting and useful contribution to the growing body of research on memory, belief, and autobiography.
The eleven chapters, and a masterful summary by Damasio, present many facets of the problem, from the paranoid delusions of the schizophrenic to experimentally provoked errors in memory.
The process of recalling things, people and events—using our memory—is something we do every day but think little about. Schacter and Scarry, editors of this collection of conference papers, seek to zero in on this ubiquitous, if ill-defined, activity by examining it from a variety of perspectives… The book’s multidisciplinary approach makes for innovative insight into the subject; the writing and research is clear and well presented, accessible to the uninformed reader but still academically rigorous.
- 364 pages
- 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
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