Have you ever been in a situation where someone asks you a question and you feel like the answer is right on the tip of your tongue but just won’t come out? This is a problem often referred to as « blocking, » and it occurs when you are unable to retrieve a memory that in most situations would not be that hard to recall.
Blocking is normal, as long as it doesn’t happen all the time. Often times, this is because one memory interferes with another, making it difficult to retrieve the information you are looking for. Blockage becomes more prevalent as we get older, but until it gets in the way of a typical day, there’s really nothing to worry about.
Over time, our memories change, often as a result of changes in our lives. For example, our memory of a certain childhood event may be affected by the development of new religious or political beliefs or new feelings about the people who participated in the creation of that memory.
Essentially, our memories are shaped by our biases, which can include everything from positions on important political issues to the mood we are in when reflecting on a memory. As we try to recall memories, and especially those deep within our memory bank, we subject them to a filter that is affected by our experiences, beliefs, knowledge, and emotions.