Why Our Memory Fails Us analysis

Thesis: The authors Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simons use logos to prove their case in Why Our Memory Fails Us. With many facts, experiments and analogies they believe that memories are not always correct and can change over time.


Chabris and Simons built their case mainly based on Logos. Throughout the article there are many case studies, evidence and facts that support their claim. They believe that relying on one’s memory is not always accurate because memories can change over time. We might believe one thing but as time passes the memory can change or get distorted. They used the case study of psychologist Sir Frederic Charles Bartlett the “telephone” game, that over time and with different interpretations the main message vanishes and is replaced with different meanings. Chabris and Simons also believe that confidence in your own memories plays a big role in the actual truth of your memory. The better the confidence in your memory the higher the possibility of it being correct. This theory is proven in psychologists Henry L. Roediger III and K. Andrew DeSoto experiment. They tested people’s ability to recall words on a list and found that the people with the most confidence in the words they saw had a higher accuracy.However, over time memories can morph or change and so does the confidence in them. This is also proven, because the National Academy of Sciences advise that courts should always rely on initial statement. Due to the fact that memories can be distorted. Chabris and Simons rely heavily on the facts and studies to prove their theories of memories, however they do use ethos to convey the emotions of pity and fairness towards memories that have failed people. They used examples such as when Hillary Clinton said her plane was under sniper fire in Bosnia when it really wasn’t. Her memories morphed to match her beliefs. The authors convey that even intelligent and highly respected people have memory failures, it doesn’t make them a liar or a bad person. Also, to have compassion and understanding for people when they make mistakes. Throughout the article Chabris and Simons also use ethos, because they use reliable sources and show credibility. The authors have a candid tone throughout the article because they are straight forward, truthful and honest. In the readers top three comments they use pathos to show their emotion towards the examples that the authors used in the article. One comment showed the belief of pity, to understand that people make mistakes and not to always believe that people have bad intentions. In contrast, the other two commenters showed their hostility towards Bush being a credible example.WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? Many people agreed with that, making them the leading comments. The New York Times picks comments used ethos because they show testimonies and credibility. The comments give real life examples that do testify the theory of memories.In contrast, one commenter disagrees and says that memory isn’t the issue, it is mental laziness. I do believe that the Times picks are effective because the comments they pick have more substance and meaning rather than just popular opinions. It is needed because it shows the people’s comments that actually have good interpretations and significance.


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