Have someone slowly read this list out loud. (If you donšt have anyone handy, read the list to yourself, then close the magazine.) Take three minutes to write down all the words you remember.

sour nice candy
honey sugar soda
bitter chocolate good
heart taste cake
tooth tart pie




Most people falsely remember the word sweet as being on the first list and the word angry as being on the second list. The words aren't there, but they are strongly suggested by the words that are on the list. Memory is associative, and thinking about one thing can get you thinking related thoughts. Remembering the words candy and honey and sugar and others that are associated with sweetness bring that word sweet to mind so strongly that it seems like part of the original list.




Okay, now try the same thing again with this list.

mad wrath fear
happy hate fight
rage hatred temper
mean fury calm
ire emotion enrage

Compare the words that you wrote down to the original lists.

 Memory - ©1998 The Exploratorium