The Adult: A Review of His Memory
The first reaction to seeing yet another global word at the beginning of a chapter is probably ‘What are we talking about this time?’, and the direct answer has to be that no one is very sure what is meant by ‘memory’. Like the rest of the world, we have a good idea of what contributes to memory and when we find it useful. But looking at the historical record of psychology, we seem to be in much the same state now, when it comes to defining memory, as they were in the heyday of the Greek and Roman orators. We know a few ways of using memory reliably, but we have not been all that successful in deciding just what it is and how to make it more efficient ALL the time, whatever IT is. Perhaps our inability to make it more reliable stems from not having a clear idea of what it is. We can describe the items and processes that contribute to it, but we do not make a very good job of adding up the parts and deciding what it is that we have been assembling.
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