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What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

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Podcast Episodes

What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

280. Memory Biases: Don’t Forget To Listen! (Refreshed Episode)

Memory is a funny thing. We like to think we have these perfect pictures of what really happened in our minds waiting to be retrieved in pristine condition, but that’s not at all how it works. It turns out we have all sorts of biases that, well, bias our memories. And that is important to know in our interactions with other people in life and business. 

The truth is: you can remember something completely different from someone else, and neither of you has to be wrong. Let me say that again, even if you remember something that is completely different than someone else, it doesn’t mean that either of you is wrong. Our brains screen for different information than what someone else might be screening for (focusing illusion and confirmation bias). That subconscious filter is sifting through a lot of stuff, and what mattered to you and what you remember is never the full picture. This episode, which originally came out in early 2019, is a quick run through of a bunch of memory biases (part of the 8-part “All the Biases”  series). 

So, why was memory important to refresh today? It is because of the guest I am delighted to introduce you to this coming Friday, Dan Willingham, a memory expert whose book Outsmart Your Brain will change your life (and that of every learner you know). Outsmart Your Brain has chapters on “how to take notes,” “how to listen to a lecture,” “how to read hard books,” “how to take tests,” and more. It is fascinating and will help you with any presentation you may give or meeting you will be in moving forward. Trust me, you’re gonna love that conversation and Dan’s book, so be sure to subscribe to The Brainy Business podcast now (before you forget). (Haha, memory joke!)

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HERE'S A 2 MINUTE TIP.

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SHOW NOTES:

  • [00:39] Today’s episode is all about memory biases. Memory is a funny thing.
  • [01:16] You can remember something completely different from someone else, and neither of you has to be wrong.
  • [03:41] Today’s episode is going to be divided into three sections: general memory stuff, false memories, and tips on how you can use these biases to help you remember things better. 
  • [04:45] Our memories are basically inaccurate renditions our brains tell us and every time we access them we change them a little. So the more you think about something the less and less it is like the original version. (Frustrating, but true.)
  • [06:26] Your customers, coworkers, friends, and family all have these same biases, so hopefully learning more about all your brains will help in all sorts of interactions in the future. 
  • [07:20] You are the hero of your own story and no one will remember your story as well as you do (but of course even you don’t remember your story correctly). The emotions tied to bad memories will fade quicker than the emotions tied to positive events. 
  • [10:08] A few well planned surprise and delight moments throughout a relationship can create good peaks (and remember the most recent end holds the most weight). 
  • [12:38] A false memory is when we accidentally think something we imagined really happened and misattribute it as a memory.  
  • [14:15] Our brains are powerful, but they are easily manipulated too. 
  • [15:39] The opposite of a false memory is called cryptomnesia when a real memory is mistaken as imagination because there is not a proper experience of it being a memory. 
  • [17:21] We do tend to remember the efforts we had to put in as much higher than they were and toils more difficult as they were in reality. 
  • [19:12] Don’t feel like you need to remember everything about everything. Instead, remember important things that can’t be easily looked up, and don’t gunk up your brain with all the trivial information.
  • [20:45] If you want to be able to remember things better and with easier recall, it is best to have repeated exposure over a long span of time instead of trying to cram it all in at the last minute.
  • [22:14] Try to commit things to memory in the context they belong to or multiple contexts so they are less isolated. The mood we are in is also tied to the context.
  • [24:13] If you want to remember things, write them down. 
  • [25:51] Visual images are often recalled by our visual subconscious faster and easier than words because of the picture superiority effect.
  • [27:38] We all put so much effort into making things as easy as possible to read and process but in reality due to processing difficulty, stuff that takes longer to read and process is easier to remember. 
  • [28:43] We are provided with lists of things all the time and the way those things are presented absolutely impacts memory.  
  • [30:15] Due to the next in line effect you are less likely to remember the words people spoke just before you because you were distracted with what you wanted to say. Being a good listener is key to building relationships in life and business. 
  • [31:40] Melina’s closing thoughts

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