The study’s participants were split intotwo groups. One group was told that the stranger disliked one of the twofighters in the video. The other group was told that the stranger liked thissame fighter. Unsurprisingly, this extra information shaped how peopledescribed the video to the stranger. Participants gave more negative accountsof the behaviour of the fighter if they believed the stranger disliked him.

该研究的参与者被分成了两个组。一个组被告知这个陌生人不喜欢视频中的其中一个打架者。另一个组被告知这个陌生人喜欢那同一个打架者。没有让人惊讶的是,这条额外的信息转变了人们把这个视频描述给这个陌生人的方式。对于这个打架者的行为,参与者给出了更多的负面说辞,如果他们相信这个陌生人不喜欢他。

More importantly though, the way peopletold their story later affected the way they remembered the fighter’sbehaviour. When participants later tried to remember the fight in a neutral,unbiased way, the two groups still gave somewhat differing accounts of what hadhappened, mirroring the attitude of their original audience. To an extent,these participants’ stories had become their memories.

但更重要的是,人们在之后讲述故事的方式影响了他们对于那个打架者行为的记忆。当参与者在之后尝试用一种中立而不带偏见的方式回忆这场斗殴时,这两组仍然或多或少地给出了对所发生之事的不同论调,反映出他们最初受众的态度。在一定程度上,这些参与者讲出的故事已经变成了他们的记忆。

Results like these show us how our memoriescan change spontaneously over time, as a product of how, when, and why weaccess them. In fact, sometimes simply the act of rehearsing a memory can beexactly what makes it susceptible to change. This is known as“retri-enhanced suggestibility”.

类似这样的结果向我们展现了:我们的记忆作为我们如何、何时以及为什么去取用的产物,可以随着时间流变而无意识地发生改变。事实上,仅凭重演一段记忆的行为就可以使其容易生变。这被称为“经由读取加强的暗示性”。

In a typical study of this effect,participants watched a short film, then took a memory test a few days later.But during the days between watching the film and taking the final test, twoother things happened. First, half of the participants took a practice memorytest. Second, all of the participants were given a descxtion of the film toread, which contained some false details.

在一个典型的对这种效应的研究中,参与者观看一部短片,然后在几天以后参加一场记忆测验。但在看片和参加最终测验之间的日子里,有另两件事发生了。第一件是,有一半的参与者参加了一场记忆试测。第二件是,发给所有参与者一段对片子的描述让他们去阅读,其中包含了一些错误细节。

The aim of these studies was to see howmany of the false details people would eventually reproduce in the final memorytest. Hundreds of studies already show that people will unwittingly add falsedetails like these to their memories. But these studies found something evenmore fascinating. Participants who took a practice memory test shortly beforereading the false information were more likely to reproduce this falseinformation in the final memory test. In this case, practice makes imperfect.

这些研究的目的是要看看人们在最后的记忆测验中最终会重现出多少错误细节。数百个研究已经表情,人们会不知不觉地把错误细节加进他们的记忆中去。但这些研究发现了一些更让人着迷的东西。在阅读错误信息前不久参加过试测的参与者,更有可能在最后的记忆测试中重现出这些错误信息。在本案例中,练习用的试测造成了不完美。

Why might this be? One theory is thatrehearsing our memories of past events can temporarily make those memoriesmalleable. In other words, retrieving a memory might be a bit like takingice-cream out of the freezer and leaving it in direct sunlight for a while. Bythe time our memory goes back into the freezer, it might have naturally becomea little misshapen, especially if someone has meddled with it in the meantime.

为什么会是这样呢?有一种理论是:重演我们那些过往事件的记忆会临时赋予那些记忆可塑性。换句话说,取用一段记忆可能有点像从冰箱里拿出冰淇淋,然后任其被太阳直射一段时间。而到我们的记忆回到冰箱的时候,它可能已经很自然地发生了一些小小的变形,尤其是某人在这个期间内对它作了干预的情况下。



1、This is an excellentpiece. The role of the evidence of witnesses in criminal trials seemsproblematic. Where a case is based, more or less, on the competing testimony oftwo witnesses, it should not come to trial, in my view.

这是一篇出色的文章。这样的话在刑事审判中证人的作用似乎就存在问题了。在我看来,当一个案子或多或少地基于两名证人相互矛盾的证词,就不应该进入审理阶段。
(回复1)That assumes that neither of the witnesses might be deliberatelylying. The policy would be easily manipulated.
那样的话所假设的是:两位证人不可能都故意撒谎。警方将会很容易被操纵。
(回复2)No, I would not make that assumption. Deliberate lying is not thepivotal issue as the article makes clear. Could we be sure beyond allreasonable doubt that someone was guilty of a crime if the evidence was only,or virtually only, the testimony of one honest witness? I don’t think so.
不,我不会做那种假设。就如该文所表明的那样,故意撒谎并不是关键问题。如果仅有的证据或者实质上仅有的证据是一名诚实证人的证词,我们能排除所有合理的对某人有罪的怀疑而确定无疑吗?
(回复3)Deliberate lying may not be the pivotal issue in the article, Iagree, but it is a pivotal issue in many, perhaps most, criminal trials, andmuch civil litigation.
故意撒谎可能不是文中的关键问题,我同意,但这是很多刑事审判和很多民事诉讼中的一个关键,可能还是最关键的问题。
(回复4)If recall from different witnesses are different, then the law assumes one or more aredishonest, not different. Law ignoresthat memory changes.
如果来自不同证人的回忆是不同的,那么法律会推定一个或更多个人是不诚实的,而不认可这种不同。法律无视记忆会改变的事实。


Cases of abuse, for example, may bewitnessed only by the victim and their abuser. It is the job of a jury todecide whether a witness is credible.

比如说,虐待案的目击者可能只有受害者和施虐者。法官的工作就是去判定一个证人是否可信。
(回复6)No, it is the job of a jury to decide whether, beyond all reasonabledoubt, an accused person is guilty. Whether or not a witness is credible is guess-work. Furthermore, whethera witness is credible and whether what he or she says is true and quiteseparate matters. If, in, for instance, a case of alleged abuse, there is no evidenceagainst an accused person but the word of the alleged victim, the case shouldnot come to trial (especially, one might say, if the witness was credible sincethis might make a jury more likely to believe what is said whether or not it istrue.)
不,法官的工作是排除掉所有合理的怀疑,去判定一个被告是否有罪。证人可信与否是只是一种推测。而且,证人可信与否以及他或她所说的是否属实完全是两回事。比如说,如果在一个所谓的虐待案件中,除了所谓的受害者的说法,没有任何证据对被告不利,该案件就不该进入审判阶段(尤其是证人可信时,因为这可能会让法官更倾向于相信TA的说法,无论是否属实)。

2、If I live dramaticcircunstance my memories are more clear and precise ,I m 73 years old and havememory of details very good and clear .Thing is happen and if I not sure neverchange ,I will said truth I not remember.Againand again come this commentary to show our opinions and experiences are fragileand surreal. So what happens if we livein an unreal and liar world? were the moral values are cero.It’s thiscontagious?Human are here for millons of years and 99% of the time , ours memories transfer experiences andteaching through our poor human’s brains .We are here so far basically becousetransfer oral history made us more adaptable and strong, advance or simple research cannot be validfor every one in the some ways.

如果我生活在戏剧化的环境中,我的记忆会更清楚更准确,我已经73岁了,有着非常好而清晰的细节记忆。事情发生了,而如果我不确定这记忆从没发生变化,我会实话实说我不记得。这种表明我们的见解和体验脆弱而不真实的评论性文章反复地出现。如果我们生活在一个不真实的谎言世界里,会如何呢?那里道德的价值为零。这种情况会不会传染呢?人类存在已经几百万年了,99%的时间里,我们的记忆通过可怜的人类大脑传授经验和教导。到目前为止,我们还能在这里,基本上就是因为口口相传的历史令我们更能随机应变更强大,对每个人来说,某种程度上高级的或是简单的研究不可能是靠谱的。

3、It is interesting toreflect on how much ‘history’ - including many religious works - was notwritten down until a long time after the events described. So how much credenceshould one place on such stories? Not a lot, I would say.

去回想下有多少“历史”(包括很多宗教作品)直到这些被描述的事件发生很久以后才被记录下来,这是很有意思的。所以你应该给这种故事多少可信度?我会说,没多少。