Remember the telephone game?
|April 29, 2011||Posted by News under Mind|
Yes, we all do, but that’s not the whole story …
Some findings in the field of collaborative memory research have been counter intuitive. For one, collaboration can hurt memory. Some studies have compared the recall of items on lists by “collaborative groups,” or those who study together, and “nominal groups,” in which individuals work alone and the results are collated. The collaborative groups remembered more items than any single person would have done alone. But they also remembered fewer than the nominal groups did by totaling the efforts of its solitary workers. In other words, the collaborators’ whole was less than the sum of its parts.
This so-called “collaborative inhibition” affects recall for all sorts of things, from word pairs to emotionally laden events; it affects strangers or spouses, children or adults. It is, in scientific lingo, “robust.”
What explains this? One dynamic is “retrieval disruption”: Each person remembers in his or her own way, and compelled to listen to others, can’t use those strategies effectively. Sometimes that effect fades. Sometimes it squashes the memories for good, causing “post collaborative forgetting.” Then there’s “social contagion” of errors, wherein a group member can implant erroneous recollections in another’s memory. – “Psychologists Ask How Well — Or Badly — We Remember Together”, ScienceDaily, (Apr. 28, 2011)
One wonders how Richard Dawkins’s theoretical meme (1976, a unit of idea, hopefully gene-based) would fare in all this? To say nothing of “memeplexes” or Susan Blackmore’s deceitful meme gangs (traditional religion, of course). One consequence of understanding the mind-brain complex as – in part – a quantum process could be the end of a search for a mechanism for how it works.