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

Debunked myths I believed.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , * " ' : ; you can't force a computer scientist to write a review when they don't want to.
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- Mohammed Alsayyari

Don't take your own memories at face value

Would you consider the audio edition of The Memory Illusion to be better than the print version?

I did not read this book, I only listened to it, twice in fact. I enjoyed it fully both times. Dr. Julia Shaw's scientific research does prove that you can't trust your own memories. Which makes some sides completed one sided during criminal investigations...


What was one of the most memorable moments of The Memory Illusion?

Everything with self examples.


Have you listened to any of Siri Steinmo’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not.


Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes, I was moved by the fact that you can't blindly trust your own memories, or trust those that tell you that they know your memories, or what happened to you during a certain time or moment in life. Even their memories of that situation can be completely skewed which will in turn skew yours. Just like it most lines of business, you should document everything with proof.


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- Zenifi

Book Details

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