Saturday, April 14, 2012

memory article

Praise Is Fleeting, but Brickbats We Recall
This article talks about how it is natural for humans to recall bad memories more than good memories. No matter how positive your outlook on life is or how many pleasant experiences you have in life, it is just natural to remember the bad ones better. After reading this article, I tried recalling specific events in my life, and I did have and easier time remember the negative ones, especially recalling specific emotions I had during these negative events. They say that the reason for this is because “The brain handles positive and negative information in different hemispheres.”
Even a good experience like winning money will have less impact than receiving a negative comment from a friend. They say the reason for this is that bad memories wear off more slowly than good ones. Also negative emotions involve thinking more so the information is processed differently than good experiences. The article said that we use stronger words to describe bad events than we use to describe happy ones. It's interesting that even just our word choice helps us remember events differently.
Remembering bad moments may be evolutionary as well as psychological. People who were “more attuned to bad things would have been more likely to survive threats and, consequently, would have increased the probability of passing along their genes.” This is because to survive, it is more important to pay attention to possible bad outcomes more than it is to pay attention to possible good ones.
The article had some very interesting points such as how with this knowledge we could better the work place by how bosses treat their employees and how we can produce a better more efficient and productive work environment. There is one point in the article I don’t quite agree on though. It talked about how that we may praise children too much when they're young for too many meaningless things, saying how they can't build up a resilience to negative feedback. I feel as if giving a child positive feed back can also cause them to continue to do well in order to receive more positive feed back, whereas negative feedback may just upset a small child, making them feel bad about themselves.

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