Blog #1

The article “Why our memory fails us” CAPITALIZE by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons covers the ramifications of how damaging someone’s recollection can be far from the truth, while including new procedures and studies that have proven to support their claim.

A key way that the article is substantiated is by facts and examples of ways that memory can be truly not accurate in the way that we might believe it is. This immediately gives off a logos appeal due to the claims and evidence that is then supported. There are even studies cited in the writing that give it a greater sense of authority. The study performed by Roediger III and Desoto showed that for false memories when there is high confidence there is usually lower accuracy. We are able to grasp the concept and trust that the information is reliable and factual. The experiments by psychologist Sir Frederic Charles Bartlett that mimicked the game of telephone are another logos appeal, which supports their claim that memories change over time. One of the things that are brought up by Christopher Chabris on a potential pathos appeal is that when we respond emotionally we believe that we are right and everyone else is wrong I DON’T FOLLOW YOU. Though this article doesn’t touch too much on an emotional level is still has its bits and pieces.

The tone of the writing looks to connect real life examples that we can relate to. It is a conversational tone that includes corroborating evidence for the positions that are being made. It is not just telling us to believe something, but it is telling us to believe a particular position about our memory due to all these facts that support it. There is a sense that memory is something that most of our think is pretty good when it is something that is often faulty. The writing helps distinguish a shift in position that we can take.

The comments that were picked by the readers have a very different appeal when compared to the comments that The New Yorks Times chose. Keith Dow touches on the comment, “Dr. Tyson, Mr. Bush and Mrs. Clinton are all intelligent, educated people” by listing other incidents where Mr. Bush was quoted saying some not so intelligent things. From an ethical standpoint, Keith was able to obtain this information on the world-wide-web and though Keith doesn’t say that he’s a reliable source, he made a claim and supported it with evidence that shows something different than what both Chabris and Simons believe. Jacob Sommer’s comment was on a pathos approach, he showed compassion for not having the ability to remember his everyday life and saying that he was better off not knowing. He then continues to voice that even though it’s human nature to not remember everything, we must find the line where we let small mistakes slide and have people take responsibility for the ones that alter situations on a grander scale. The comment on the NYT by magicisnotreal claims that he doesn’t agree with the article. He says “..they let themselves produce inference after inference until it becomes habit and they start mistaking inferences for memory.” His claim that it’s not the human memory that is the issue but the simple fact that people remember something in their own way and stick with it even if it’s not a factual thought. Both comments have a logical and ethical appeal, both believe different reasons and include support whether it is their opinion or evidence they have searched other own.

In conclusion, reading over the arguments about memory was interesting. You never really notice how repeating something you’ve heard or seen is dangerous, we always assume that the information we are being given is reliable and truthful. The article “Why our memory fails us” by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons covers the ramifications of how damaging someone’s recollection can be far from the truth, while including new procedures and studies that have proven to support their claim.

Findings by Roediger III and Desoto strengthens this articles appeal because while making a claim, the authors are both including information to back up their ideas. We can only remember so much at once but the real test is digesting information and breaking the habit of sharing our view rather then what the true events or statement was.


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