Why Life Speeds Up As You Get Older: How Memory Shapes our Past

Cambridge University Press
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Is it true, as the novelist Cees Nooteboom once wrote, that 'Memory is like a dog that lies down where it pleases'? Where do the long, lazy summers of our childhood go? Why is it that as we grow older time seems to condense, speed up, elude us, while in old age significant events from our distant past can seem as vivid and real as what happened yesterday? In this enchanting and thoughtful book, Douwe Draaisma, author of the internationally acclaimed Metaphors of Memory, explores the nature of autobiographical memory. Applying a unique blend of scholarship, poetic sensibility and keen observation he tackles such extraordinary phenomena as déjà-vu, near-death experiences, the memory feats of idiot-savants and the effects of extreme trauma on memory recall. Raising almost as many questions as it answers, this fascinating book will not fail to touch you at the same time as it educates and entertains.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Cambridge University Press
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Published on
Nov 4, 2004
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Pages
296
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ISBN
9781139459662
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Psychology / Cognitive Psychology & Cognition
Psychology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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In this resonant, scholarly work, Bruce Ross presents an encompassing theoretical framework and overview of autobiographical memory. Drawing on a wide range of ideas from academic psychology, the social sciences, psychoanalysis, and the humanistic disciplines, the author presents a stimulating and original perspective on this increasingly important topic. Ross' description encompasses the full range of subjective responsiveness to personal memories, both with and without awareness, including real-world social context and examples that can be compared with one's own experience; critical assessment of psychoanalytic memory concepts with a clear distinction drawn between Freud's ideas and those of his later followers; childhood memories dealt with from dual standpoints of initial origin and adult retrospection; explanations of problems and dilemmas in philosophy and the human sciences that determine both what is to be counted as a memory experience and how memories can be validated; and the phenomena of individual memories compared with characteristics of group-determined memories and socially structured memories that persist across generations. Cognizant of the rich intellectual history of the field, the book also calls on the works of James, Titchener, Freud, Piaget, Baldwin, Janet, Bartlett, Ellis, Bergson, Bloch, Halbwachs, and Merleau-Ponty, among others, to broaden our current understanding of the experience of autobiographical memory. Students and researchers from a number of disciplines concerned with the psychology of memory, cognition, and identity will find this volume both insightful and thought-provoking.
Autobiographical Memory and the Validity of Retrospective Reports presents the collaborative efforts of cognitive psychologists and research methodologists in the area of autobiographical memory. The editors have included an esteemed group of researchers whose work covers a wide range of issues related to autobiographical memory and the validity of retrospective reports, reflecting the diverse traditions in cognitive psychology and survey research. The first part of the book provides different theoretical perspectives on retrospective reports, along with supporting experimental evidence. The second part of this volume focuses specifically on retrospective reports of behaviors, including recall of the frequency and intensity of physical pain, of the number of cigarettes smoked, of dietary habits, and of child support payments. The following sections address the cognitive processes involved in event dating and time estimation, and a discussion of the differences between self and proxy reports. The final part extends the discussion of autobiographical memories in different directions, including the impact of autobiographical memories on individuals' assessment of their current life, the assessment of social change on the basis of retrospective reports, and the issue of collective memories. This book, an indispensable and timely resource for researchers and students of cognitive psychology as well as to survey methodologists and statisticians, demonstrates the considerable progress made in understanding the cognitive dynamics of retrospective reports.
Memory and forgetting are inextricably intertwined. In order to understand how memory works we need to understand how and why we forget. The topic of forgetting is therefore hugely important, despite the fact that it has often been neglected in comparison with other features of memory.

This volume addresses various aspects of forgetting, drawing from several disciplines, including experimental and cognitive psychology, cognitive and clinical neuropsychology, behavioural neuroscience, neuroimaging, clinical neurology, and computational modeling. The first chapters of the book discuss the history of forgetting, its theories and accounts, the difference between short-term and long-term forgetting as well as the relevance of forgetting within each of the numerous components of memory taxonomy. The central part summarizes and discusses what we have learned about forgetting from animal work, from computational modeling, and from neuroimaging. Further chapters discuss pathological forgetting in patients with amnesia and epilepsy, as well as psychogenic forgetting. The book concludes by focusing on the difference between forgetting of autobiographical memories versus collective memory forgetting.

This book is the first to address the issue of forgetting from an interdisciplinary point of view, but with a particular emphasis on psychology. The book is scientific and yet accessible in tone, and as such is suitable for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students of psychology and related subjects, such as science and neuroscience.

In this volume, Qi Wang traces the developmental, social, cultural, and historical origins of the autobiographical self - the self that is made of memories of the personal past and of the family and the community. Wang combines rigorous research, sensitive survey of real memories and memory conversations, and fascinating personal anecdotes into a state-of-the-art book. As a "marginal woman" who grew up in the East and works and lives in the West, Wang's analysis is unique, insightful, and approachable. Her accounts of her own family stories, extraordinarily careful and thorough documentation of research findings, and compelling theoretical insights together convey an unequivocal message: The autobiographical self is conditioned by one's time and culture. Beginning with a perceptive examination of the form, content, and function of parent-child conversations of personal and family stories, Wang undertakes to show how the autobiographical self is formed in and shaped by the process of family storytelling situated in specific cultural contexts. By contrasting the development of autobiographical writings in Western and Chinese literatures, Wang seeks to demonstrate the cultural stance of the autobiographical self in historical time. She examines the autobiographical self in personal time, thoughtfully analyzing the form, structure, and content of everyday memories to reveal the role of culture in modulating information processing and determining how the autobiographical self is remembered. Focusing on memories of early childhood, Wang seeks to answer the question of when the autobiographical self begins from a cross-cultural perspective. She sets out further to explore some of the most controversial issues in current psychological research of autobiographical memory, focusing particularly on issues of memory representations versus memory narratives and silence versus voice in the construction of the autobiographical self appropriate to one's cultural assumptions. She concludes with historical analyses of the influences of the larger social, political, and economic forces on the autobiographical self, and takes a forward look at the autobiographical self as a product of modern technology.
Major New York Times bestseller
Winner of the National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award in 2012
Selected by the New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best books of 2011
A Globe and Mail Best Books of the Year 2011 Title
One of The Economist's 2011 Books of the Year
One of The Wall Street Journal's Best Nonfiction Books of the Year 2011
2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient
Kahneman's work with Amos Tversky is the subject of Michael Lewis's The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds

In the international bestseller, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, the renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation—each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.

Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives—and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble. Winner of the National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and selected by The New York Times Book Review as one of the ten best books of 2011, Thinking, Fast and Slow is destined to be a classic.

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“One of the most important books I’ve ever read—an indispensable guide to thinking clearly about the world.” – Bill Gates

“Hans Rosling tells the story of ‘the secret silent miracle of human progress’ as only he can. But Factfulness does much more than that. It also explains why progress is so often secret and silent and teaches readers how to see it clearly.” —Melinda Gates

"Factfulness by Hans Rosling, an outstanding international public health expert, is a hopeful book about the potential for human progress when we work off facts rather than our inherent biases." - Former U.S. President Barack Obama

Factfulness: The stress-reducing habit of only carrying opinions for which you have strong supporting facts.

When asked simple questions about global trends—what percentage of the world’s population live in poverty; why the world’s population is increasing; how many girls finish school—we systematically get the answers wrong. So wrong that a chimpanzee choosing answers at random will consistently outguess teachers, journalists, Nobel laureates, and investment bankers.

In Factfulness, Professor of International Health and global TED phenomenon Hans Rosling, together with his two long-time collaborators, Anna and Ola, offers a radical new explanation of why this happens. They reveal the ten instincts that distort our perspective—from our tendency to divide the world into two camps (usually some version of us and them) to the way we consume media (where fear rules) to how we perceive progress (believing that most things are getting worse).

Our problem is that we don’t know what we don’t know, and even our guesses are informed by unconscious and predictable biases.

It turns out that the world, for all its imperfections, is in a much better state than we might think. That doesn’t mean there aren’t real concerns. But when we worry about everything all the time instead of embracing a worldview based on facts, we can lose our ability to focus on the things that threaten us most.

Inspiring and revelatory, filled with lively anecdotes and moving stories, Factfulness is an urgent and essential book that will change the way you see the world and empower you to respond to the crises and opportunities of the future.

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“This book is my last battle in my life-long mission to fight devastating ignorance...Previously I armed myself with huge data sets, eye-opening software, an energetic learning style and a Swedish bayonet for sword-swallowing. It wasn’t enough. But I hope this book will be.” Hans Rosling, February 2017.

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