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Memory Distortion: How Minds, Brains, and Societies Reconstruct the Past Revised ed. Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0674566767
ISBN-10: 0674566769
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Schacter (Harvard, psychology) and others from a wide variety of fields deliver a substantial volume on the dysfunctions of memory. A central theme is the often large difference between memory input and output. At a time when repressed memories are hotly debated and lead to conflict in society, the authors here point out that memory falters not only because of the natural tendency to forget but also because memory is often altered or distorted. Studies allude to the possibility of implanting complete and believable false memories, particularly in children. Contributor Michael Kammen holds that how much memories vary changes significantly from culture to culture as well as in various literatures. The present volume bears similarities to John R. Anderson and Gordon H. Bower's volume Human Associative Learning (Lawrence Erlbaum Pubs., 1980). Recommended for specialized collections.?Dennis G. Twiggs, Winston-Salem, N.C.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

This is a particularly timely book that compiles the presentations from a 1994 conference sponsored by the Harvard Center for the Study of Mind, Brain, and Behavior. The uniqueness of this volume comes from the diversity of its contributors. It brings together neurobiological, cognitive, psychiatric, neuropsychological, and sociocultural perspectives on the issue of memory distortion. The fundamental theme running through this book is that remembering is a process of reconstruction...The volume competently demonstrates that mind-brain sciences have progressed to a level where scientists of differing ilk may each proffer a different level of analysis...and yet have a meaningful dialogue. (Shitij Kapur, M.D. American Journal of Psychiatry)

We owe much to Daniel Schacter for tackling head-on the question of the fallibility of memories. Schacter and colleagues have chosen a challenging interdisciplinary format to present essays on the increasingly controversial topic of memory distortion. This collection of essays emerged from a conference and subsequent discussion groups described as an 'interface between disciplines'. This description embodies the tone of Memory Distortion, which takes on the format of a congenial but lively debate among colleagues. (Mark W. Jacobson and Dean C. Delis Contemporary Psychology)

Human memory [is not] like a photograph album, a collection of cassettes, compact discs or videos or any other accumulative archive of the past. Rather, memories are fragmentary, condensed, often distorted and inaccurate representations of past experience. This point is made in impressive detail by all the contributors to this excellent collection of essays on memory distortion...Memory Distortion provides an outstanding multidisciplinary perspective on memory accuracy, ranging from cognitive psychology through psychiatry, neuropsychology and neurobiology, to sociocultural analyses. (Martin A. Conway Nature)

This is a superb collection of chapters, which covers an impressive and wide range of topics related to memory distortion...[E]xploring this phenomenon at many levels is absolutely crucial...[and] I recommend the book to everyone with an interest in normal and pathological distortion. (Lars Nyberg European Journal of Cognitive Psychology)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; Revised ed. edition (September 30, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674566769
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674566767
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #829,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Incantessimo VINE VOICE on November 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
Memory is a central issue for so much of human life - whether it be questions of identity, autobiography, or belief. In this volume, edited by the expert on memory and belief Daniel Schacter of Harvard, we have an innovative interdisciplinary examination into the question of memory, why it fails, and what happens when it does.
The volume is divided into the following sections by discpline: 1) Cognitive Perspectives, 2) Psychiatric and Psychopathological Perspectives, 3) Neurophyschological Perspectives, 4) Neurobiological Perspectives, 5) Sociocultural Perspectives, 6)Concluding Reflections.
The articles, each by a different contributor, are not the easiest to jump into, especially for those without a scientific background. In fact, the overall emphasis is very much on science with the social sciences rather underrepresented (in my opinion). This is the reason why I give it 4 stars instead of 5. However, those with a scientific inclination, yet also philosophical or social science inclinations towards questions of identity, autobiography, belief and fantasy will find this book of great interest. I would advise you to also look at the much more recent volume (2000) by Schacter entitled 'Memory, the Brain and Belief', which may in fact be more up to date.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent reading for the more involved reader of professional.
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