The 7 Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets & Remembers


The 7 Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets & Remembers


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Memory has 7 notable malfunctions, or “sins”:

  1. Transience: Weakening or loss over time.

  2. Absent-mindedness: Disaccord between attention and memory, often created by distractions.

  3. Blocking: Something on the tip of your tongue.

  4. Misattribution: Assignment to the wrong source.

  5. Suggestibility: Implantation or alternation of memories due to leading questions or comments.

  6. Bias: Undue influence from present knowledge and beliefs on past experiences and opinions.

  7. Persistence: Repeated retrieval of troubling information or events we would prefer to forget.

Yet these “sins” need not be considered inherent weaknesses. Understanding their impact and neuroscientific foundation will help you mitigate their negative effects and improve your memory.

“In this book I explore the nature of memory’s imperfections, present a new way to think about them, and consider how we can reduce or avoid their harmful effects.”

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