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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2003 Oct;1001:226-39.

The seven sins of memory: implications for self.

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Department of Psychology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA.


We examine the relation between memory and self by considering errors of memory. We draw on the idea that memory's imperfections can be classified into seven basic categories or "sins." Three of the sins concern different types of forgetting (transience, absent-mindedness, and blocking), three concern different types of distortion (misattribution, suggestibility, and bias), and one concerns intrusive memories (persistence). We focus in particular on two of the distortion-related sins, misattribution and bias. By describing cognitive, neuropsychological, and neuroimaging studies that illuminate these memory sins, we consider how they might bear on the relation between memory and self.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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