Reconstruction rather than reproduction

Bartlett  argued that what people remember is, to some extent, mediated by their emotional and personal commitment to – and investment in – the original to-be-remembered event.  In Barlett’s own words, memory retains ‘a little outstanding detail’, while the remainder of what we remember represents an elaboration that is merely influenced by the original event.  Bartlett referred to this key characteristic of memory as ‘reconstructive’, as opposed to ‘reproductive’. In other words, instead of reproducing the original event or story, we derive a reconstruction based on our existing presuppositions, expectations and our ‘mental set’.

(Foster, 2009, p. 12)

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