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Same Event, Different Memories? Why Two People Would Recall Events Differently

Watching crime thrillers or dramas, I know this might sound suspicious and I would think that somebody is lying when two eye witness accounts contradict each other. Only one of them could be right but does that mean one of them is guilty, lying, or trying to cover up what they saw? Did they experience being zapped by a neuralyzer which caused them to alter their memories about the event?

Not necessarily. It all actually starts with perception.

(Image credit: Wikimedia Commons)


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You see this most easily when a big event happens, like when there's a big election. It's like we're all watching the same movie screen, but everyone reports seeing a different movie. For some it's the end of the world on screen - to others it's the beginning of something good. It's not so much that we're lying to ourselves - it's that we have way less free will than we think we do.
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