Discussing the phenomenon of how memories change over time in The Hartford Courant, John Seamon, professor of psychology, professor of neuroscience and behavior John Seamon explains that the mental narrative many of us have created contain inaccuracies, even for seminal events such as the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Seamon, who studies how people remember and recall information, says that many people change details or add “facts” to their mental accounts over time, imbuing them with emotion and convictions. The changes are so profound that, even when confronted with the actual facts of the events, people will continue to insist that their memories are accurate.
“When recalling events, there’s a narrative form that we have. Things that fit that form tend to be remembered well,” Seamon says in the article. “We try to tell stories that are coherent and make meaningful sense to others. Because that’s what we do, we tell stories to each other.”