“Your past is not your own. Through simple nudges, your friends, colleagues and strangers can change your recollections in ways you will never realize”
By: David Robson
Published: 20 September 2016, http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20160920-four-ways-that-other-people-can-warp-your-memory
Level of Difficulty: **
BEFORE YOU READ
Watch the following videos and think about them
· Through the Wormhole http://www.sciencechannel.com/tv-shows/through-the-wormhole/videos/through-the-wormhole-false-memories/
· Implanting false memories https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58AxIGmjEP4
· How reliable is your memory? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PB2OegI6wvI
1. What is the major reason why our memories are so important?
2. What conclusion can be drawn from the paragraph beginning “Except”?
3. What conclusion can be drawn from the paragraph beginning “It Takes”.
· Memories are closely linked to nostalgia
· Memories require revision and rehearsal
· Memories are closely linked to our intentions
· Other: other please specify
4. Look back at the first four paragraphs of the text. What subtitle would you give this section?
· The memory palace
· Ghost writers at work
· The truth about memories
· Manipulation of the mind
5. We learn from the example of John and Jane that collaborative inhibition involves memories…………………
6. Why do the police prefer to interview witnesses separately rather than in groups? Because one witness may……………
7. We learn from the example of the wedding that people can actually….
· Lead others to ignore details
· Lead others to suppress thoughts
· Lead others to forget thoughts
· All of the above
· None of the above
· Other: please specify
8. Look back at question 7. Why do people allow this to happen?
9. We understand from the example of the murder of Anna Lindh that … Mark TRUE or FALSE
· Many people thought the perpetrator was wearing a baggy, green army jacket
· Some people may have known the perpetrator was wearing a grey sweater
· We cannot always trust witness testimony
· Interviewing witnesses as a group is probably a good idea
10. We understand from the examples concerning false memories that they are easily modified / resistant to change/ completely unreliable / difficult to remember.
11. Robert Nash’s memory of Trevor McDonald being at his graduation is an example of a questionable memory / a non-believed memory/ a false memory / a plausible memory. Select as many as necessary.
12. What reason is given in the text for people’s unwillingness to vet questionable memories?
13. Mutual memories provide a bonus for people as they form the basis for…….
14. Common memories shared by large groups of people benefit society by ………………….
Use all you have learned to explain the reasons why we cannot trust our memories completely
FOUR WAYS THAT OTHERS CAN WARP YOUR MEMORY KEY AND TEACHERS’ NOTES
This fascinating text about how unreliable are memories are has been written in such a way that I had to focus my attention on questions requiring students to summarize or draw conclusions. I have, however, tried to provide variety.
1. They define who we are
2. Our memories are constantly being reshaped by social interactions
3. Other: memory is rarely a solitary activity
4. The truth about memories. The first and the second are too narrow in focus and the fourth is misleading
5. Being impaired by discussion
6. Inhibit another’s ability to remember with full potential
7. All of the above
8. Because it requires too much effort OR Because you have to be really motivated to go beyond what people are talking about.
9. T, T, T, F
10. Resistant to change
11. A questionable memory, a non-believed memory
12. People don’t question their memories enough to think it’s worth putting in the effort.
13. The longest, strongest and most trusting friendships
14. Promoting a common understanding of the past