Sunday, February 11, 2007

Washington Post: Where'd We Leave That Darn Fact?

From the

"Paying attention, says Ullman -- echoing Dr. Johnson -- is the best method of remembering. Frequency helps. For example, if you hear a word often enough, you learn it. And if a piece of information fits neatly into your worldview, he says, it's easier to recall. If a memory 'has significance to us,' says Otto H. MacLin, a psychology professor at the University of Northern Iowa, who studies memory and the law, 'we tend to remember it better.'"

Comment: This is one of the many reasons I don't believe in objectivity -- I defy any journalist to show me complete documentation to back up any story -- some of what they write (or write down) is based on memory, and what we remember is based, at least in part, on our worldview. Journalists may be better at avoiding these pitfalls than others, but they are still human beings, and therefore subject to the same frailties as the rest of us.