Rhetorical Analysis

In the argument presented by Chabris and Simons in, “Why Our Memory Fails Us,” the examples of faulty memory used by the authors explore the issue of recollection of false memories and high confidence in “facts”. They build their case by using USE FULL NAMES Tyson, Bush, and Clinton as examples, using Logos, to demonstrate cognitive and logical fallacies.

Our understanding can be abstract and two people can have two different accounts of the same event. When our memory is challenged, Chabris points out that people rely on pathos and become emotional because they believe so deeplyEVIDENCE? that their memory is correct—even if it differs from several other people that experienced the same event. Chabris and Simons present research from the National Academy of Sciences and cognitive psychologists Henry L. Roediger III and K. Andrew DeSoto; this research tested how well people could recall words from lists they studied, and how measured they were in their recollections. They also mentioned Sir Frederic Charles Bartlett, who conducted a series of experiments proving our “flashbulb memories” of emotional events can be inaccurate regardless of how confident the person is in their recollection. Chabris and Simons use a philosophical and theoretical approach (while using research to back up their thoughts) when exploring how our memories tend to match our beliefs about ourselves in the world.

The top three comments were found to be convincing by so many other readers for a multitude of reasons. Well for one, the first comment was by Neil deGrasse Tyson, commenting about the mention of his name. The second comment by Keith Dow presented multiple quotes from President Bush to disprove the author’s claim that Bush was intelligent. Jacob Sommers’ comment was a true reflection of the article, mentioning that he prefers to write off faulty memory as an honest mistake. Tyson and Sommers’ use pathos to make their points effective; Dow uses logos to make his point effective (he quotes Bush to support his opinion). The readers’ choices compare to the New York Times Picks by the fact that the NYT Picks commenters provide their own reflections of the article in a detailed and thought out passage. I believe the New York Times approach to ranking comments is extremely effective and needed because the readers can identify the comments that will be good in terms of quality (NYT Picks) versus good in terms of popularity (readers; choice) making it easier for the reader to sort through the comments depending on intentions.


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