Daniela Ponce – Assignment 1

FIRST NAMES? Chabris and Simons keep a respectful tone while arguing that Neil Degrasse Tyson has practically made up a quote by George W. Bush by informing readers that confidence plays a huge role in memory, that the content of our memory changes overtime and by explaining that when we recall our memories we are basically playing a game of telephone.


Chabris and Simons use a great load of logos by giving us facts on how confidence can affect our memory. It is said that high confidence can sometimes play a role in false memories. In other words, sometimes higher confidence can result in lower accuracy. This follows with what Tyson was saying about George W. Bush’s quote because Tyson seemed extremelyWATCH THE ADVERBS confident that Bush had stated those words exactly, even though everyone else seemed to disagree. The authors continue to give us facts about how are memories play by explaining that the content of our memory changes over time. They use the facts from an experiment made by psychologist Fredric Charles Bartlett. Bartlett explains that our memories are recalled similar to a game called telephone. In the game, when a message is whispered to another person, the message becomes slightly distorted as it goes across person to person. Chabris and Simons use the example of Bartlett’s experiment to give readers scientific facts about memory. The explanation of this experiment also implies the use of ethos. When readers see the words “psychologist” and “experiment”, they automatically assume that those given facts are trust worthy and reliable. For example, as a reader, seeing the example of the experiment of how our minds are like a game of telephone, instantly made me lose faith in anything that Tyson believed. In the article, it is obvious that although there is no physical evidence of Bush stating those words, Tyson is extremely confident in what he thinks he knows. When it comes to credibility, as a reader, I found that the psychologist Bartlett was more of a reliable source compared to Tyson who had no evidence. Chabris and Simmons display Bartlett as more of a credible source because he has the evidence of the experiment he uses to explain how our memory works. Finally, pathos is used by the authors toward the end of the article. Chabris and Simmons show the emotion of epathy and belief in fairness. They understand that Tyson has made an error and choose to explain the error in a respectful manner without degrading him whatsoever. The authors appreciate that Tyson later admits error and is able to move on. They encourage readers to react in a respectful manner when errors are made and to remember to not strike someone as a liar when something may be misremembered. Reading through the comments, I found a few who accepted Tyson’s mistake by not bashing him as a liar. Jacob Sommer comments that he does not remember every event of the day and that is probably for the best. He explains that he would rather take something as an honest mistake and explains that he would rather give a person the benefit of the doubt. His comment also shows a form of pathos because he shows a belief in fairness to Tyson by accepting that he has made a human mistake. The times approach with picking the top comments is effective because it describes again that mistakes are human mistakes. The comments explain that accepting that people make mistakes is crucial because no one can physically remember every single event that has happened. They explain that it is important to move forward when authors accept that they have made a simple mistake.


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