Behavioral and Brain Sciences

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Behavioral and Brain Sciences (2009), 32:513-514 Cambridge University Press
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Open Peer Commentary

Extending the range of adaptive misbelief: Memory “distortions” as functional features

Pascal Boyera1

a1 Department of Psychology, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO 63130.
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A large amount of research in cognitive psychology is focused on memory distortions, understood as deviations from various (largely implicit) standards. Many alleged distortions actually suggest a highly functional system that balances the cost of acquiring new information with the benefit of relevant, contextually appropriate decision-making. In this sense many memories may be examples of functionally adaptive misbelief.

The evolution of misbelief Ryan T. McKay and Daniel C. Dennett Institute for Empirical Research in Economics, University of Zurich, Zurich 8006, Switzerland; and Centre for Anthropology and Mind, University of Oxford, Oxford OX2 6PE, United Kingdom; The Center for Cognitive Studies, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155-7059