The Memory Illusion

  • by Julia Shaw
  • Narrated by Siri Steinmo
  • 8 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Think you have a good memory? Think again.
Memories are our most cherished possessions. We rely on them every day of our lives. They make us who we are. And yet the truth is they are far from being the accurate records of the past we like to think they are. True, we can all admit to having suffered occasional memory lapses, such as entering a room and immediately forgetting why or suddenly being unable to recall the name of someone we've met dozens of times. But what if we have the potential for more profound errors of memory, even verging on outright fabrication and self-deception?
In The Memory Illusion, forensic psychologist and memory expert Dr Julia Shaw uses the latest research to show the astonishing variety of ways in which our brains can indeed be led astray. She shows why we can sometimes misappropriate other people's memories, subsequently believing them to be our own. She explains how police officers can imprison an innocent man for life on the basis of 300 denials and just one confession. She demonstrates the way radically false memories can be deliberately implanted, leading people to believe that they brutally murdered a loved one or were abducted by aliens. And she reveals how, in spite of all this, we can improve our memory through simple awareness of its fallibility.
Fascinating and unnerving in equal measure, The Memory Illusion offers a unique insight into the human brain, challenging you to question how much you can ever truly know about yourself.
Dr Julia Shaw is a psychology lecturer and memory researcher at the University of Bedfordshire and is one of only a handful of experts in the world who actively conduct research on complex memory errors related to emotional personal events - so-called 'false memories'. Dr Shaw has published research articles in various international academic journals, written textbook chapters, and presented at many international conferences. She is also heavily involved in teaching classes on memory at the undergraduate and graduate levels, for which she has won two teaching excellence awards.
Besides her teaching and research, she has delivered general business and police-training workshops, has given guest lectures at universities around the world, has evaluated offender diversion programs and works with the UK police to advise on historical sexual and physical abuse cases. She has also been featured as an expert on TV and radio and in UK and international newspapers.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

All over the place but interesting

The Memory Illusion is a fascinating piece on neurology, psychology and, basically, how humans think and remember. Dr. Shaw is a luminary and fully grasps her subject. Unfortunately, what this book had in intriguing science it lacked in structure. All chapters (with the exception, perhaps, of the fourth one, which relates to the biology of memory) all feel the same; I couldn't tell you what each one was about.

Siri Steimo offers a relatively robotic performance (she occasionally sounds like a computer-generated narrator). However, she does provide some interesting nuances and intonations at times.
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- Jacob

thought provoking

it's kind of strange, but knowing so much more about how people can misremember and develop faulty memories (including myself of course) gives me a certain sense of freedom. I have the freedom to react in multiple ways when I interact with someone that may be wrong or lying, and to question myself and seek independent evidence. it's great
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- Mtallis

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-16-2016
  • Publisher: Audible Studios