It’s no surprise that on the fifth anniversary of the tragic attacks of September 11, 2001, most newspapers and many blogs are offering reflections and analysis of what happened. This morning I asked my kids, who were in the third and fourth grade on the day of the attacks, if they remembered what happened that day. Of course they did — the bigger question is what of the world before September 11 they remembered. Nearly everyone has a story to tell about September 11, 2001.
It seems almost human nature to reflect on our memories of shocking events such as September 11. In fact many psychological studies have used the event to study the nature of memory itself. Greta’s students often ask her if it’s ethical to conduct such research. She always responds that it would be a greater tragedy not to try to understand such an event’s impact on the human mind.
We’ve discussed several such studies here on Cognitive Daily. In case you missed any of them, I’ve linked them below the fold.
Is memory better for shocking events?