Analyzing an analysis on memory


Through the use of anecdotes, a questioning tone, and repetition, the idea that memory cannot be relied upon is interwoven throughout Chabris and Simons’ work. DANGLING MODFIER. THE FIRST PART OF THE SENTENCE DOESN’T MATCH THE SECOND.


Who cannot be piqued by such a title as “Why Our Memory Fails Us”?DON’T BE CUTE.

A nod to the human curiosity that is innate to all of us, the title of this article is much more effective than a title that might be truer to the work, such as“The fact that our memories fail us and our attempts to make you see it.”

“Why Our Memory Fails Us” uses its meticulously placed “why” to strike directly to the core of our intellect, our want to know things, hitting a large appeal to pathos through our inquisitive nature. GOOD.

The two psychologists begin their reader’s journeyCLICHE through an anecdote. Not only does this appeal to ethos, because a narrative brings an element of ‘testimony’ to it, but it also begins with the words “Neil Degrasse Tyson,” a well-known scientist made out to be an intelligent host.GOOD This is, if nothing else, a large appeal to logos. The icing on the cake is its appeal to pathos, because stories always seem to make us think in someone else’s shoes.

The narrative soon creates credibility, and then the authors tear that credibility down in one thought-shattering sentence. MELODRAMATIC. A complete turn of thought, this was not only an ingenious way to further pique the readers’ interest, but it also does the one thing the co-authors are trying to persuade the reader to do: to not trust our own judgement.To be clearly misguided creates an uncertainty of our own knowledge that nothing else could. This narrative was nothing if not cleverly created to make a point. ALTHOUGH YOU SHOULDN’T WRITE LONG PARAGAPHS, THE LAST COUPLE WERE TOO SHORT. I’VE COMBINED THEM.

And with this common ground they have now reached with their reader, they slowly start building their case. For, if we all respond like this (with such confidence and vigor) when our memory is challenged, how exactly can we know if we’re right? How often do I remember correctly? How often do others? They gave us a question, and now they answer it with research that all amount to the same thing: our memories morph over time. So from the predominantly pathos loaded narrative the article leads into logos, and an analytical tone frames the work.

And once this thought has been reached, it is repeated over and over again. When they say,”our memories tend to morph to match our beliefs about ourselves and our world” and again say “with each retrieval our memories can morph,” they are making sure the main argument we walk away with is a memorable one.

In the end, the commentary in the reader’s section pick on things that do not necessarily have to do with the overall argument of the work. One comments on the fact that the work started with a name, while another talks about Bush’s intelligence. However, the NYTimes Picks are comments that lead to further thought. For example, one adds another perspective to the problem by stating that misremembering could occur due to a general laziness, and one commentator connected the article to journalism and how memories can morph stories.





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