Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Cambridge Journals Online - CUP Full-Text Page
Behavioral and Brain Sciences (2009), 32:535-536 Cambridge University Press
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010
doi:10.1017/S0140525X09991488

Open Peer Commentary

Adaptive misbeliefs and false memories


John Suttona1

a1 Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia. jsutton@maccs.mq.edu.au http://www.phil.mq.edu.au/staff/jsutton
Article author query
sutton j [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]

Abstract

McKay & Dennett (M&D) suggest that some positive illusions are adaptive. But there is a bidirectional link between memory and positive illusions: Biased autobiographical memories filter incoming information, and self-enhancing information is preferentially attended and used to update memory. Extending M&D's approach, I ask if certain false memories might be adaptive, defending a broad view of the psychosocial functions of remembering.

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 ryantmckay@mac.com http://homepage.mac.com/ryantmckay/; The Center for Cognitive Studies, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155-7059 ddennett@tufts.edu http://ase.tufts.edu/cogstud/incbios/dennettd/dennettd.htm


Metrics