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Same Event, Different Stories

Why Everyone Remembers Differently?



“You said that, and not this.” This statement is often met with “I don’t remember this, I remember saying this.” While note keeping and journal entries can help establish the fact checking, the bigger question is will that solve the problem?


Research says, two people can attend the same thing, witness the same set of events, but what they remember will be different from each other. Only because, each one experiences a complete different set of emotions altering what they will remember later. In couples arguments over what they said, who did what in the past is very common. A wife remembers her husband promising to take her out for dinner while the husband remembers not as a definite plan but with the probably element in it.


The Rashomon effect – (the term is coined after the film Rashamon) as it is called means same people will remember different details and versions of the same event they witness. The difference in versions exists because of the mood they are in , their previous experiences and the current state of mind they are in. This also points out to the fact how a movie is appealing to a person, while being waste of time for the other person.


Perspective and how one wants to remember a situation plays a big part in forming the memory of an event. This can be used in an advantageous way by couples and by anyone who wants to mend a troubled relationship. For couples, they should focus on making memories together. Talking over and over again about how they first met, their first date, the first vacation, birth of children will iron out the irregularities in the memory. Focus on the happy elements of the past will bring out the joy element in the relationship , thus making the bond stronger. Nothing is permanent and change is inevitable and this applies to memories too.

 Written by Suchitra Sharma

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