Extraordinary Stories

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

The " What Am I Missing?" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Just read something interesting written by author Candy Sagon that really had me thinking and that doesn't happen often.  The article was in AARP, I believe, and was titled "A Not-So-Photographic Memory".  Article talked about a cognitive psychologist, Linda Henkel, who had her university students take a tour of a museum and take photos of some of the objects in the museum as well as just look at some of the objects without taking photos of them.  
Seemed that the next day those objects that they had taken photos of were hard to remember while those they just looked at without taking photos were easier to recall.  Why is that so?  When I go on vacation I always have a camera in my hand.  Always!  And, I take photos of just about everything that I see on my journeys during vacation.  Am I really not seeing them?  I guess so.  The psychologist professor said that we take photos mindlessly and really don't process or pay attention to what we're seeing.  Come to think of it at times I believe I do that.  At the end of a day of picture taking I usually load my photos onto my computer and examine them to see if I have what I wanted to get.  Sometimes I see more from them at this point while viewing them on my computer screen than I can remember from actually taking them.  And, that's exactly what Linda was stressing to her students.  Trying to tell her students that you see more by actually viewing something instead of concentrating of taking a photo it the same object.  She says that "The act of reminiscing helps the memory, not just taking a photo."  Exactly what I do, but didn't realize it until now.  Will have to be more observant in the future while snapping away I guess.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

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