Developing Intelligence on the seven sins of memory

memorysinner.0.jpgThe first part of a series on memory failures has just appeared on the increasingly compulsive cognitive science blog Developing Intelligence.

The site is run by cognitive neuroscientist Chris Chatham who summarises the ‘seven sins of memory’ – Daniel Schacter’s famous description of the seven ways in which memory can become distorted or degraded.

Schacter first described his ideas in a landmark paper and later in an accessible book of the same name.

Chris has a different approach, however, and will be setting out his alternative views over the coming week:

In contrast to Schacter’s “seven sins of memory” (1999), I argue that all types of memory inaccuracy arise from three distinct types of memory system failure: those of maintenance, of search, and of monitoring. Failures of maintenance include problems involving prospective memory (“forgetting to remember”), rapid forgetting, and absent-mindedness. Failures of search include retrieval-induced forgetting, tip-of-the-tongue phenomena, and amnesia. Failures of monitoring include source misattribution, memory biases, and suggestibility. Finally, other memory inaccuracies may actually result from interactions among multiple sources of failure.

In this week’s upcoming posts, I will review each of these categories of memory failure in turn, and describe how they can account for all types of memory inaccuracy when taken together.

Link to post at Developing Intelligence.

One thought on “Developing Intelligence on the seven sins of memory”

  1. Hi, I have the problem of rapid forgetting all the time, so I’ve built a web app to help with that. It’s called Memvibe (, and it’s a simple tool that let’s you tag bits of text in the way that let’s you tag URLs. You can tag and search using your phone or the web, so it can be with you anywhere.
    Let me know what you think!

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