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Why can we remember some things better than others?

Question about Memory

  • Nikita (Nik) Kotlarov
    Nikita (Nik) Kotlarov
    Psychologist, Psychotherapist
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  • Thank you for your question. Generally how brain and memory work is too complex to cover here. I will address one aspect. It helps to know that things that matter more are more worked-on and remembered. You know these things matter because they bring on a feeling (emotion). Humans are great survivors and amazing learners. When something terrible happens (lots of emotion), our minds spend particular effort to process (work-on) and store it (remember). On a smaller scale, you may have noticed, after an evening you spent with friends, of all the conversations, you remember the one that went wrong. We are wired to learn and improve our survival by remembering threats - we remember bad things better than good. Remember! If your lifestory seems too negative, that's how you are wired to remember it. Instead of fighting the story, do what matters to you now. And to remember a thing, clarify why it matters and work-on it - say, write, problem-solve, or teach it to someone else. Hope this helps!