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Current Thinking May Distort Memories of Love
As our memories fade, we rely on our current assessment of the people to remember how we felt about them in the past, this extends to some of the most central figures in our lives, like parents.
A file photo.
If you do not think of a person as highly now as you used to, the memories associated with that person can also change, says a study.
As our memories fade, we rely on our current assessment of the people to remember how we felt about them in the past, and, the study suggests, this extends to some of the most central figures in our lives, like parents.
"Memories of the love we felt in childhood towards our parents are among the most precious aspects of autobiographical memory we could think of," said study lead author Lawrence Patihis from University of Southern Mississippi in the US.
"Yet our findings suggest that these memories of love are malleable — which is not something we would want to be true," Patihis said.
The study, published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science, is based on two experiments involving over 300 participants in each.
The research showed if people change their evaluation of someone, it may also change the memory of their emotions towards them. "This is true of memory of love towards mothers in childhood," Patihis explained.
"The significance of this research lies in the new knowledge that our current evaluations of people can be lowered if we choose to focus on the negative, and this can have a side effect — the diminishing of positive aspects of childhood memories," Patihis said.
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