A second thought on our memory

28 Sep

We always think that our memories are reliable and what we think we remembered are true and whatever scenarios we ‘see’ in our head are exactly the same as what had actually happened. This is a fallacious thought and forensic psychologist, Scott Fraser tell us why this is the case.



4 Responses to “A second thought on our memory”

  1. Abandon TV September 28, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    Interesting talk but (rather ironically) this guy’s memory is muddled with regard to 9/11.

    There was in fact live TV footage of the demise of *both* WTC towers (first WTC 2 and then WTC 1). Obviously there were many live cameras trained on those towers as soon as the reports of a plane strike first started to come in, and smoke started pouring from WTC 1. You can view all the archived *live* TV footage of both towers being destroyed on youtube.

    Maybe he’s getting confused with TV footage showing the *plane impacts*. Footage showing the first plane hitting WTC 1 did not surface until Sept 12th (the ‘Naudet footage’). It is the only one of a handful of shots of the first plane impact (because up until this point it was a surprise attack so there hardly anyone was pointing cameras at the WTC).

    What’s also fascinating is how memory (and perception itself) is affected by trauma. Many studies have shown that when we are traumatised we become a lot more suggestible.

    This is interesting when you consider that most of the world experienced the horrific events of 9/11 through the medium of the TV, complete with news anchormen and ‘talking heads’ telling us what we were witnessing in real time as we were watching those traumatic live shots. These ‘talking heads’ also helped to place these horrific events in a geopolitical context. For example if you re-examine the live TV footage (NBC if I remember correctly) you see that Osama Bin Laden was named as number one suspect a mere 45 seconds after the second plane impact. His name along with ‘Al Qaeda’ was burned into our memory banks while we were all in a state of shock. In this way OBL and AQ became ‘hardwired’ to the events of 9/11, and the images of those towers being destroyed.

    Also when the towers were finally destroyed we were told via the TV that the the twin towers had ‘collapsed’. ‘Collapse’ is actually quite a scientific term when applied to buildings. It implies a very specific type of progressive structural failure.

    Some people were watching the events unfold on live TV in foreign countries which meant they couldn’t understand what the foreign news anchormen were saying. Instead they had to trust what their own eyes and brain were telling them, as they watched the towers being destroyed.

    Some of these people insist that from their perspective what they witnessed was not the twin towers collapsing, but rather the twin towers being turned to dust in mid air.

  2. CuriousBlogger September 29, 2012 at 4:25 am #

    Good points that u made here. And if what u said is true, then this video is an interesting demonstration that our memory is flawed by the speaker himself. And yes the points u made regarding the ‘talking heads’ are soo true and interesting. well, that always happen to me, i don’t remember myself watching the television, the television and the room around me disappeared. and i watched the video on 9/11 in YouTube, the buildings did really look as if they turned into dust in mid air, maybe its so fast that they didnt look like they’re collapsing or that the dust released is so huge that it covered the whole building when they collapsed. Great studies and comment u made here. Thanks for sharing it with me.

    • Abandon TV September 30, 2012 at 11:00 am #

      I guess one way to find out if the buildings turned to dust or if they just *looked* like they turned to dust would be to look to see how much rubble there was on the ground.

      If the building turned to dust there would just be dust on the ground, but if they collapsed there would be a rubble pile about 10 – 15% of the original height of the building. Each 12 ft tall floor would have about 1 ft of flooring and 11 ft of air (plus all the walls, furniture, lift shafts, tanks, generators etc)

      So for the twin towers which were 110 floors tall (and 500,000 tons each) we would expect a rubble pile of at least 110 ft high for a collapse.

      Here’s a picture of the remains of WTC 1 taken on 9/11. The parked ambulance tells us where street level is. I don’t see much of a rubble pile …… plenty of dust though! If the towers had collapsed don’t you think that ambulance would have been crushed and buried? I wonder where did the towers went?!

      The seismic signals recorded when the towers were destroyed also did not match with 500,000 ton towers collapsing down and hitting the ground. The signals were too small and had no S or P waves.

      And 14 people survived inside the core of WTC 1 in ‘Stairwell B’. They were not crushed or buried under 500,000 tons of collapsed tower. They were just covered in dust! Some of them even walked out by themselves. One of the survivors (Jay Jonas) said: “Hey guys, there used to be 106 floors above us…. and now I can see blue sky. “

      • CuriousBlogger September 30, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

        Wow, I never knew about that, thanks for telling me this. I have watched the video and was surprised at the amount of dust released by the twin tower and how fine the dust was. It was said that the twin tower is made of steel but the pile of rubbles is much lesser than expected. I am thinking is it the materials that was used to build the towers were actually less of steel but more of other materials as the collapse of the twin tower that were mainly made of steel should not produce such fine and vast amount of dust. Can it be that the report that shows the materials that was used to build the tower was inaccurate? We can’t be sure.

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