Remembering a Childhood Encounter with The Paranormal
A great deal of laboratory research involving normal people in everyday situations demonstrates that memory is not perfect. Evidence shows that memory can be influenced by other people and situations; that people can make up stories to fill in memory gaps, and that people can be persuaded to believe they heard, saw or experienced events that did not really happen.
Studies also reveal that people who have inaccurate memories can strongly believe they are true.
“Researchers note that parents provide an important support for children’s developing memory functions. When children begin to recount their past experiences, parents typically provide 'scaffolding' in order to help them with details, sequencing of events, and a sense of place and time,” says Dr. Spezzano, C. Psychology.
“Flaws in memory can arise at different points in the process,” explains Daniel Schacter, Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. “When someone first records a memory, the viewer incorporates his or her own reactions and inferences about the event. As a result, the viewer can color or distort the memory from the very beginning.”
Other distortions can occur when a memory is retrieved.
"When you recall a memory, it is not just simply read out, you have to store and consolidate it again," Schacter said. “During this process, the recalled memory becomes vulnerable to outside influences and can be distorted by them.”
However, researchers also note that if an memory involves an emotional event, the memory is more accurate and pronounced. And certainly the experiences recalled by the Perron family, especially the mother and the children, are emotionally-based.
What outside influences may have played into Andrea's and her family's recall of the events that took place at the Arnold Estate? Are her memories and theirs intact and realistic even after 30 years?
John Savoie - April 25th, 2013