Tiffany Bolanos Team 21-Rhetorical Analysis

In the New York Times article, “Why Our Memory Fails Us,” by Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simons, the utilization of the three rhetoric devices;(no semi-colon) logos, pathos, and ethos are present to support the arguments and messages that are being expressed to their audience effectively. (perhaps, “…are effectively presented to support the arguments and messages that the authors are expressing. (we know it is to ‘their audience.’

Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons’ message in “Why Our Memory Fails Us” supports the concept of how our experiences and emotions to certain subjects, can influence the reliability and accuracy of our memory. In the article, the authors use historical events and well-known individuals to support their argument. For example, Chabris and Simons mention the attack on 9/11 along with comments from President Bush and Hillary Clinton in the 2008 presidential campaign. Hillary Clinton stated during her visit to Bosnia; she had to run from her plane which was under sniper fire.This incident supports logos when Chabris and Simons state “As often happens; her memory was an embellishment of a real event.”This statement refers back to the argument of howour memories can be easily manipulated to match our beliefs and experiences. We then depend too much on the confidence of our memory; we tend to shut out the irrelevant details and focus on the one we believe are relevant.

The use of ethos is also present in this article to persuade its readers that our memory in some instances is not reliable. The article contains two examples; Dr. Tyson and his documented version of what President Bush stated regarding the terrorist attack. “Memory failures that resemble Dr. Tyson’s mash-up of distinct experiences have led to false convictions, and even death sentences.”.  A second instance in where the use of ethos is the case with Daniel Simons. He was able to “release a comprehensive report” from an expert panel to reduce the amount of false memory since the “recollection of the witnesses was concerning.” The addition of an external source that did not include Chabris and Simons gave rise to the credibility of this article.

The authors then introduce us to the third rhetoric; pathos from Chabris and Simons stating “Ordinary memory failures say nothing about a person’s honesty or competence. However, how we respond to these events can be telling.” This statement is directed toward the readers with the use of pathos to question their response and consider even the most educated and intelligent people can make mistakes. This statement is also made for society to realize it is common for our memory to fail us. 

In conclusion, Charbis and Simons rely heavily on facts and studies. The tone of the authors in this article is persuasive.

The top three reader comments reflect the three rhetoric devices logos, pathos, and ethos. The first comment by Neil deGrasse Tyson showcases ethos. In his commentary, he provides a professional and respectful comment as well as using links that contain credible information from an email exchange. The second comment that is written by Keith Dow contains a harsh tone but can be considered ethos. Although the link ridicules specific quotes from Bush, it also supports his position accurately. The third comment by Jacob Sommer supports the device of pathos effectively. He is in favor of the article and defends their argument and accepts the majority of mistakes are honest due to an individual’s memory. 

Tiffyany, This is a well-written post. Good writing style and good support for your points. Keep up the good work.

Rhetorical analysis

The article by Chabris and Simons’ is expressed through logos, ethos, and pathos to give the audience a change of mind along with commenters point of views to counter the argument. (Not a thesis statement!) Please review.

Chabris and Simons’ article “Why Our Memory Fails Us” portrays a standpoint of how our memory fails us when trying to retain information from that past thought. These The authors writers of this article are providing pathos along with logos to prove a better persuasive understanding. First, they give facts or examples of how people may have said one thing but next changed up the facts and then gets your emotions going because they basically want people to be more understanding and not so harsh when someone makes a mistake; like empathy basically. They express that there are well-known facts that someone has said but yet they have said otherwise due to the failure of retaining the correct information. They also use people of high power or had high power at the time because the facts will be more creditable, and the statements are more reliable likely to be true. They use your emotions also to sympathize with them when they are incorrect because we are humans and we make mistake and its also due to the fact that we forget things every day. (run-on sentence!) Throughout the article, their tone is very informative, and the usage of their word choice words is very persuasive to actually in changing change your one’s mind about how people make mistakes; even for the ones that we think would be so confident with their words, they could be wrong.

One of the “Reader Picks” gives a convincing counter argument to why this article isn’t accurate by stating a fact that we all know well “Politicians lie a lot” and that might be why Mr. Bush and Ms. Clinton facts don’t match when recalling them from their memory. This commenter uses logic by stating a fact but might also be an opinion in this case. But the reasoning behind why the reader probably picked this was that was because they are right and that could be a possible reasoning instead of science in a sense.

Another comment was expressing on the comment in the article saying that Mr. Bush and Ms. Clinton are intelligent people, but this commenter disagrees with that statement. They provide comments that Mr. Bush has said and feels as though the statement of being him intelligent is faulty.  This commenter uses logos to give facts being his argument and the reader might have agreed due to the comments of Bush being provided.

Lastly, the one comment that expresses that we shouldn’t show compassion with someone who made a mistake if they don’t acknowledge that they made a mistake. Also states that its fine that our memory fails us, but our society shouldn’t be failing to tell the truth either. This commenter use pathos, the emotion of anger or the feeling of disappoint in this society that we live in today.

The New York Times way of ranking these comments were efficient to me personally. These comments question the article to make people thing and also to provide other reasonings for the writers to probably thing about along with their own reasoning.

Please proofread all assignments. You make some good points but please visit the Writing Center for some help in improving your writing, grammar and sentence structure. Please also remember to analyze and not summarize quite so much.

Lazaro Francia Analysis Team 21

Hi Lazaro,

You make some decent points but you’re writing is in need of some attention. Please remove all unnecessary words, write clear, short and concise sentences. Your writing can improve dramatically with a little bit of help. 

Thesis Statement : Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simmons, the authors for “Why Our Memory Fails Us” present their case about how and why our memories fail us. (Not a true thesis statement, please review. Thesis statement are challenging to write and take some practice, but visit the Writing Center for future assignments.)

Both Christopher and Daniel, both psychology professors make use of all three modes of persuasion. For example, the beginning paragraph for example breaks down what truly was said versus Neil Degrasse’s Tyson memory of what was said in that point in time. That right therethat statement can be seen as logos and ethos. (not a good sentence! and does not explain ethos or logos. One paragraph deals with ethos and the reliability of the quote that one thinks was said which was “Our God is the God who named the stars.” The following paragraph shows logos which in turn shows you the fact or rather the truth of the actual quote which was“The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends,” It’s not that Dr Tyson was being biased but like (too informal) as the article states “Dr Tyson was fooled by his faith in the accuracy of his own memory.”

The one mode of persuasion that does take canter center stage in the middle portion of the article is pathos. Take for example, when the authors deal with our reactions to being told a memory didn’t happen the way we remembered, “But when our own memories are challenged, we may neglect all this and instead respond emotionally, acting as though we must be right and everyone else must be wrong.” We as humans do make mistakes and it’s something that the article touches on because we can’t even relay on our own memory. That show’s pathos and not ethos or logos simply because we act based solely on our emotions once our point of view or in this case the credibility of our own memory being questioned.

Again all three modes are used but logos and ethos do stand out, the authors bring some case studies which so happens to fall under logos. Wordy!  The paragraph in which two cognitive psychologists tested how well people could recall words given to them in a list and how confident they were in their memory. (not a sentence!) For the words that were on the list, people oozed confidence and they had the right to since they were correct. But those who heard similar words to the ones on the same list still had high confidence that they were right but in reality they were wrong. The last sentence in that paragraph states it correctly “That is, for false memories, higher confidence was associated with lower accuracy.”

The authors overall make the point that our memory betrays us or isn’t exactly the most accurate when retelling certain memories. Our confidence in retelling a memory that we swear is true usually ends up being either inaccurate or false . They construct their arguments with logic but use case studies and examples to back their overall arguments in why our memory fails us.

The top three comments in the article, show different aspects of the points that were bring made in Heffernans article “Comment is King” Dr Tysons response was a well-constructed response to his own mistake. Keith Dow just touched upon the fact that he doesn’t see George W Bush as an intelligent person at all and instead of lashing out he provides actual quotes to back his claim that our former president is an intelligent man. The last comment puts things into perspective about how we as people make common mistakes and how we should let the little things slide.

Hi Lazara,

Your post is acceptable but your writing needs to be a bit more formalized. You are writing as if you are having an informal conversation rather than analyzing the content of the assignment. You make some good points and I see your intent but I would advise you to always proofread your assignments. Overall good work.

Why Our Memory Fails Us

Jessika Lathulerie Team 21

Please put your name and team number on all posts.

In the article “Why our memory fails us” By Christopher F. Chabris and Daniel J. Simons, by New York Times, the usage of rhetoric, such as pathos, egos and logos, allows them to reach the audience in different ways in order for them to understand their views.

Charis and Simons mostly relied mostly on logos, with the usage of facts and logical reasoning such as presenting multiple studies conducted that prove that memory isn’t always the most reliable source:
“Studies find that even our “flashbulb memories” of emotionally charged events can be distorted and inaccurate, but we cling to them with the greatest of confidence. ” The articles focus as mentioned in the beginning is how Neil Degreasse (incorrect spelling!!) Tyson stated that president Bush in a speech had “uttered” that “Our God is the God that named the starts” to later find out that his memory served him wrong no matter how confident he was in it and later accepted that the evidence was too strong and that he was wrong no matter if he believed it or not, by Tyson accepting this allows ethos to create a sense of credibility for almost everyone who has been wrong because their memory failed them, and felt the same way Tyson did. By including Busch and 9/11 ethos can also influence different readers, readers who were affected that feel a way about that specific event and Bush also bring credibility because of his presidency and how known he is. Including that it was not only Tyson that misremembered something but also had happened to Bush and Hillary Clinton, shows credibility because it illustrates how normal and easy it is to make mistakes when stating something based on your memory, it should always be backed up by evidence but just like them, everyone makes the same mistake at one point which is why ethos will again help this article build credibility.

The comments in any article are an illustration of how effective the rhetoric strategies where in reaching the readers and stating their point correctly, One of the top three comments from this article in the new York times by Keith Dow is a reaction of when in the article they stated that
“Dr. Tyson, Mr. Bush and Mrs. Clinton are all intelligent, educated people.” and him not agreeing, saying that Bush being an intelligent person isn’t very reliable, but he did not just state it he also backed it up with various quotes by Bush that he believes support his claim, this usage of logos is what will allow others yo have evidence of what he is saying it making it a fact and no longer just his opinion. Jacob Sommer, another top comment, states how he has seen mistaken memory enough times to know that people make honest mistakes which supports what Charis and Simons included in the article at the end, making it a strong conclusion in a sense summarizing their main point of the article; ” Ordinary memory failures say nothing about a person’s honesty or competence.”

I believe both the writers and the comments took advantage of the rhetoric strategies and used them correctly creating strong and backed up points.

More analysis, less summary. Charis is incorrect. Writing needs to be more concise and clear. president Bush should be President Bush. Visit the Writing Center before submitting your assignments and you will improve and get a better grade. Watch your spelling too.

Rhetorical Analysis By: Valentina A. Tzvetanov IDS 3309 Team 21

Thesis: In “Why Our Memory Fails Us,” authors Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons build a strong and persuasive case in why relying on one’s memory is problematic by using ethos through their expertise, pathos through relatable real-life examples and experiences, and logos in logically developing and supporting their argument.  

Chabris and Simons are psychology professors and authors of “The Invisible Gorilla: How Our Intuitions Deceive Us.” They use ethos to establish credibility to their argument. Besides being knowledgeable about the psychological functions of the brain, Simons was also on the National Academy of Sciences which released a comprehensive report on how to minimize the chances of legal implications as a result of false memory.

Another key component of their argument is pathos. The authors use relatable examples to appeal to the readers’ emotions and convince them that false memory is common in cases ranging from innocent mistakes to situations involving life and death. They reference another psychologist, Sir Frederic Charles Bartlett, who used the concept of the telephone game for his researches. Chabris and Simons explain how one’s memory acts in a similar way because “we are effectively whispering a message from our past to our present, reconstructing it on the fly each time.” Furthermore, the authors emphasize the importance of admitting and apologizing for one’s mistake. They acknowledge Dr. Tyson’s reaction. They emphasize that “[g]ood scientists remain open to the possibility that they are wrong” and advise that all people should be open to questioning their own beliefs and memory.

In addition, Chabris and Simons rely on logos to piece their argument together and convey their ideas in a logical and persuasive way. Throughout the article, they refer to various studies and experts. They construct a logical sequence of facts about how overconfidence can affect one’s memory. One of the examples they provide is that President Bush misremembered “having seen the first plane hit the north tower of the World Trade Center before he entered a classroom in Florida.” This is a clear example of how someone can combine two memories and recall them as one. Chabris and Simons also use additional references to explain how confidence is linked to accuracy. They point out that “Oprah Winfrey’s latest best seller is called ‘What I Know For Sure,’ rather than ‘Some Things That Might Be True.’”

Ultimitely, Chabris and Simons play with the emotions of their audience to convey their message. They use their established authority in the field to express their credibility. Overall, they use logos to build a coherent and logical case.  

Upon analyzing the Top Three Reader’s Picks, it becomes obvious how rhetorical techniques were used. The first comment is by Neil deGrasse Tyson and it heavily relies on ethos. Tyson uses his credibility to point readers to other sources where they can learn more about the matter. The second argument by Keith Dow uses pathos to express disagreement with the references to President Bush in the article by counter-arguing “I think your memory of Bush being an intelligent person is faulty.” Lastly, Jacob Sommer uses logos in the third comment to express his personal point of view on the problem stated in the article. He uses examples for good and false memory and concludes that “we should learn to let the smaller [mistakes] slide.”

Hi Valentina,

Good writing style, but your post is mostly a summary. I think you did a good job on the assignment overall, but in the future think about more analysis of article content.

Gabriel Reina Team 21

Gabriella, I have you in Team 22?

Thesis Statement: The post “Why Our Memory Fails Us” by DanAll Postsiel J. Simmons and Christopher F. Chabris, and “Comment Is King”, by Virginia Heffernan use an ethical appeal (ethos), and rational appeal (logos) in their work to provide the audience with different perspectives than the popular opinion and makes us question ourselves how well we know what we know. (good!)

The author takes credibility away from Dr. Tyson by using rational appeal (Logos) with facts, which provides the audience with an idea of the author as being credible/reliable. (Ethos) At the same time, he justifies Dr. Tyson’s lack of accuracy with his facts, this gives the audience not only a sense of fairness, but also an idea of the author being competence. (Ethos) The Author uses a rational appeal again at the end of his post by utilizing logical reasoning and case studies on how our memory can fail us depending on how certain we are that we know what we think we know. The use of statistics from many police cases from where the witness recognizes the one responsible for the crime at the crime scene but later on it seems hard or even impossible for the witness to recall events, is a comparison the author tries to do in regards to Dr. Tyson’s memories of the past using a rational appeal (logos) again. The author states and clarifies that this is not uncommon to happen, on the contrary, he supports the idea that this is simply another human normal way of processing thought an idea depending on how certain we are that we know what we know.

In the Piece of work ‘’Comment is King’’ by Virginia Heffernan, she begins the post by giving the audience a sense of fairness (ethos) by the way she describes Anne Applebaum’s long line of work and awards. Heffernan provides facts to support the popular idea of how good of a writer she is and how well deserved her awards are, however as the author keeps describing Applebaum’s work, Heffernan gives the audience a different perspective from the one stated at the beginning of the post, her critic’s turn to be more severe; from a more Logical (logos) perspective. Heffernan states facts and uses not only logical reasoning regarding Applebaum work, but also public opinion to take credibility away from her. Heffernan uses authority voices as part of her rational appeal (Logos) to support her ideas. By using other’s critics to support hers, Heffernan gives a more Authoritarian appeal. (Ethos)

As a conclusion, both of the approach this topics with an ethical appeal (ethos), and rational appeal (logos) challenging to question how well we know what we think we know.

Gabriel Reina,

Your post is a  little shy of the 500 words Gabriel. We don’t count the words in the thesis. I would like to see better analysis and less summary, but overall good writing.