Selective Memory and Selective Amnesia – The use of memory, or a lack of memory, which is selective to the point of reinforcing a bias, belief or desired outcome.
Selective Memory and Selective Amnesia are common among all people. We all remember certain events and situations differently. Our ability to remember with clarity events from a favorite early childhood vacation or birthday party can often greatly exceed our ability to remember our commute to work yesterday.
Scientists and psychologists are still unlocking the secrets of exactly how memory works in the human brain. Much has been learned about the neural networks, neurons, synapses and etc.
However, what is clear is that emotion forms an important component of what we can remember and how well we can remember it. It is thought that adrenaline plays a role. This helps explain why we can remember details of an exciting event (such as that childhood vacation) much easier than an uninteresting one (such as the commute to work) .
People with personality disorders often suffer from extremes of emotion – sometimes referred to emotional dysregulation or emotional regulation disorder. These unregulated emotional highs and lows perhaps help to explain why some people with personality disorders experience vastly inconsistent memory functioning.
Additionally, this may also help to explain why some people who suffer from personality disorders experience extreme forms of selective memory known as Dissociation. Dissociation is the process whereby a person’s feelings and emotions can override a person’s tactile recollection of the facts – known as “Feelings Create Facts” Refer to our Page on Dissociation for More Info on Dissociation.