The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, May 7, 2002 - Psychology - 288 pages
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A groundbreaking work by one of the world's foremost memory experts, THE SEVEN SINS OF MEMORY offers the first framework that explains common memory vices -- and their surprising virtues. In this intriguing study, Daniel L. Schacter explores the memory miscues that occur in everyday life: absent-mindedness, transience, blocking, misattribution, suggestibility, bias, and persistence. Schacter illustrates these concepts with vivid examples -- case studies, literary excerpts, experimental evidence, and accounts of highly visible news events such as the O.J. Simpson verdict, Bill Clinton's grand jury testimony, and the search for the Oklahoma City bomber. He also delves into striking new scientific research, giving us a glimpse of the fascinating neurology of memory. Together, the stories and the scientific results provide a new look at our brains and at what we more generally think of as our minds.

Winner of the William James Book Award

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The seven sins of memory: how the mind forgets and remembers

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To Ben Franklin's adage concerning the certainty of death and taxes, one ought, after reading this book, to add memory failures. Schacter (chair, psychology, Harvard Univ.; Searching for Memory ... Read full review


1 The Sin 0f Transience
2 The Sin of Absentmindedness
3 The Sin of Blocking
4 The Sin of Misattribution
5 The Sin of Suggestibility
6 The Sin of Bias
7 The Sin of Persistence
Vices or Virtues?
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About the author (2002)

Daniel L. Schacter is chairman of the Psychology Department at Harvard University. He has previously written Searching for Memory, which received praise as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and one of Library Journal’s Best Science and Technology Books of the Year. The book won the American Psychological Association’s William James Book Award and received outstanding reviews in The New Yorker and Publishers Weekly. Schacter was the keynote speaker at the American Psychological Association’s 2000 conference and has appeared on 20/20, NBC’s Sunday Today, the Discovery Channel, the Learning Channel, and, with Alan Alda, on PBS’s Scientific American Frontiers.

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