Book: Mistakes Were Made (but not by me)
Authors: Carol Tarvis, Elliot Aronson
Genre: Science/Non Fiction
Rating: Four and a half stars out of five
Our brains are strange and mysterious organs. Usually they serve us pretty darn well as we go throughout our lives; however, it seems that our rearview mirrors just may be a little bit distorted.
In their book Mistakes Were Made (but not by me), Authors Carol Tarvis and Elliot Aronson take a look at hindsight – and what they discover is surprising. It seems that we all may be misremembering all sorts of things from our past.
According to the authors, it is fairly typical for our brains to repaint our history with a brush that makes us fit our own self-conceptualization. Then, when it comes time to reconstruct a memory, our brains pull the bits and pieces of it stored in the cobwebby corners of our mind and mix it together with the way we see ourselves, the way we see our world and the way we see other people. The result that shows up in our rearview mirror will often look a lot different (sometimes completely the opposite, as a matter of fact) than if we were to see a play-by-play video recording of the actual event.
So are we delusional? We aren’t. There’s a science to it, as Aronson and Tarvis so aptly explain in this fascinating look at how we rewrite our own personal histories and then absolutely believe our revisions.
While the book isn’t a “paranormal” or “spiritual” book, it is an eye opening one that has implications for both. So if you’ve ever had the experience of sharing a memory with someone only to have them recall the incident in question in a completely different way, read this book. It may change how you look at “truth”.
If you enjoy Karen’s book reviews, then check out her new book, Avalanche of Spirits: The Ghosts of Wellington – now available from Amazon.com. Watch for her new book, Supernatural! Exploring the Mysteries of Our Universe, which is due out this summer.