A Question of Recall, How Accurate is it?

Let's face it, people just are not good at remembering or giving an accurate recall.

In general people are not good at observing things and what little they do observe, they do not remember accurately. What little they remember they are not good at describing and what little they do describe they tend to simplify. 

It's an established fact, through all the academic research in this field and there is a lot of it floating around, which all point to the fact that the human mind is magnificent in many ways, but next to hopeless at accurately describing past experiences and events.

Try it out on a friend or a family member, ask them the next time you are watching a television program or listening to your favourite song to repeat the opening words. Most won't have a clue. Talk to a friend face-to-face for a few minutes, then ask them to close their eyes and describe the shirt you're wearing. Again most can't. 

We all take in, just enough details to get by. I do and you probably do to.  It's not something to be ashamed of, most of us have not developed accurate recall because we basically don't have to. 

We all make mistakes when recalling. The real problem of recall is the lack of awareness that we can and often do, make mistakes, which leads to other difficulties in relationships like the "That's not what I said" syndrome. Eye witness accounts in law, can be taken with a grain of salt.

In many different fields it causes all kinds of trouble. If people would just realize that what they think happened may not be what actually did happen, sceptics included, these problems would slowly disappear.  

Some people may be trained as good observers but only in their desired field and to a point. Doctors are trained to observe their patients to make a good diagnosis. Police officers, criminals. Teachers their students.

In reality these credible witnesses may be no more accurate than the average person, which is to say they are not very accurate at all.

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