We are no doubt passing through a historically important period. beginning of covid-19 pandemic Severely impacted the global economy, put immense pressure on health care systems and introduced sudden and dramatic changes to our daily lives.
Intuitively, it seems logical that the magnitude of the disruption caused by the pandemic should produce many memorable moments in our lives at this point in time.
Nevertheless, many people unknowingly report that their Life’s memory is weak in lockdown, And many of us experienced increased forgetfulness during the months of social isolation.
It is not really clear what exactly causes these memory disturbances, but well-established theories from cognitive psychology may be able to explain the phenomenon.
sense of self
Autobiographical memory refers to our memories of events and common sense that constitute our sense of self. Interestingly, research into autobiographical memory shows that adults over the age of 30 remember a much larger number of events during the late and early days of adolescence. adulthood, This strong effect is known as reminiscence percussion.
Transition theory states that the effect occurs because early adulthood is a period of transition during which we experience new events, meet new people and visit new places. The novelty of these experiences sets them apart from Commemoration,
In contrast, during periods of stability (such as working several years in the same job), our activities are less diverse and less specialized. As a result, daily events are more likely to be stored in memory as general representations rather than individual memories for specific events.
This theory is supported by the finding that major life transitions, such as immigration A major career change, or major career change, causes a similar spike in the number of memories we can retrieve from that lifetime period.
covid-19 lockdown Forced changes in our behavior patterns to correspond to a transitional period. We suddenly stopped interacting with many of our acquaintances, going to work or school, and participating in social activities. Infection theory predicts that we should have more specific event memories from the time when public health measures were first implemented.
However, unlike a normal life transition, during lockdown, one set of routine activities was not replaced by another. Instead, our day-to-day activities became significantly less diverse, and we participated in far fewer novel activities. Many of us have transitioned from a period of relative stability to a period of extreme stability.
As a result, transition theory predicts that we should have fewer specific events and memories than the duration of the lockdown.
To test these predictions, psychologists Norman Brown and Emin Henoy from the University of Alberta conducted a research study where they asked participants to recall “memorable, interesting or important events” that occurred between September 2020 and August 2021. Their results showed that the participants remembered more events. from the first month of covid-19 lockdown (March 2020) Relative to the months before and after the public health restrictions were imposed.
Their findings suggest that the lockdown caused an initial spike in the number of specific event memories that people could recall. However, as the lockdown persisted, this memory advantage did not last. The lack of specific life events during the lockdown made it difficult for us to retrieve episodic memories of the pandemic.
increase in forgetfulness
While transition theory may explain the lack of specific memories about life under lockdown, the impact of Epidemic Memory seems to extend beyond our ability to recall autobiographically relevant information. Many people have reported that they became more forgetful throughout the day during the lockdown period.
Indeed, another study found that participants tended to make more errors in a simple memory task as a social period. Solitude Increased. The researchers tested the participants’ ability to remember lists of words after a brief retention interval. In the first few weeks of social isolation, the participants’ memory improved.
However, as time went on, the participants experienced a steadily worsening memory.
Similarly, an Italian study found that female university students experienced a decrease in their ability to store work-relevant information in memory during the pandemic. Those same students also reported potential memory deficits: they were more likely to forget tasks they had planned to complete later.
Similarly, a Brazilian study found that nearly one-third of their participants experienced worse memory during the pandemic.
beyond the pandemic
Epidemic-related amnesia appears to be quite different in nature from the observed deficits in autobiographical memory. Still, exclusivity may again be the culprit.
Most cognitive psychologists agree that memory is cue-based. To retrieve information from memory, we rely on specific cues that are associated with target information. A sign can be verbal, such as a person’s name, or non-verbal, such as a place, image, or emotion. However, when a cue gets involved with too many Commemoration Mark, it may no longer support the retrieval of specific information.
For example, if three events occurred in three different rooms, each room should effectively indicate a single event memory. However, if all three events occurred in the same room, there is competition between the three event memories, and the room becomes a less efficient memory cue.
During the lockdown, our daily lives became much less variable. As a result, the memories we formed were all associated with a relatively limited set of environment Therefore, when we try to retrieve information from memory, we experience more interference between competing memory traces and poor overall memory.
Variety, Spice of Life
Although experiencing lockdown-related memory problems can be alarming, these problems were the result of normal memory processes under unusual circumstances.
The past few years have shown us that participating in unique and specific events is essential to memory, learning, and overall mental well-being. However, for some demographics, the lockdown did not significantly alter daily life.
Many individuals living in institutions such as prisons or residential care homes may continue to experience limited changes in their daily lives beyond the pandemic. Given the empirical evidence and our subjective experiences over the past three years, it seems worth considering whether it is our duty to introduce variation and uniqueness into the daily lives of these individuals.