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Childhood Amnesia For a long time psychologists thought that for the first three or four years of life children simply could not form autobiographical memories. But now new research suggests that it is not that we never form those memories, but that at around the age of seven we forget them. Patricia Bauer is a psychologist at Emory University in the United States and has conducted the first study looking at what children forget, so-called childhood amnesia, and at what ages. Her results have just been published in the journal Memory.
A good example of this would be a situation when I was five, on holiday on the mainland of Orkney with my family, walking along the main street in Stromness which had no pavements (and may still lack them for all I know). We were walking down the middle of the road, parents behind, two children ahead. There had been no traffic, but we heard the sound of an engine behind us. The engine noise became louder at a surprising rate and was within a few seconds at an alarming volume, so we all turned round. My parents stepped together and blocked my view, so I couldn't see the car, but my sister could. The next moment, both my parents started moving to the left fast, clearly not having any time to do anything about getting us out of the way. My sister started moving to the right as she was nearer to that side of the road, while I processed the thought that if my parents had to move like that, the car must be nearly on them and I would have to move with them, so I did, and never saw the car until after I'd reached the wall and looked to my left, seeing the back of the car as it shot away, probably at 50-60mph. I didn't move out of instinct, but actually thought it through, and there was no time to translate the thoughts into words.
When I see articles like this it does make me wonder how reliable any of my memories are. I often wish that like Word, there was something I could click on to retrieve earlier versions of any memory.
I also wonder if the memory of something you haven't thought about for a very long time is more accurate, because it hasn't undergone constant revision, or less accurate because it has "faded" or weakened. Any way here is the link, if anyone is interested.
That [the incident on road in Orkney] was, though, kind of a spacial problem, and I can understand solving it visually without words. Can you think without words about non-spacial, logical problems or other types of judgements?
Is it possible that in that situation you were also influenced by the fast observation that two people made one decision, and one person, who was also younger and less experienced, made a different one. If you yourself can't see the car, what's the best option?)