“The past doesn’t change, but our memories of it seem to,” said William Chopik, associate professor in the Department of Psychology. Chopik’s recent study assessed over 2,500 middle-aged and older adults on their memories of childhood, specifically how their parents treated them. The study found that 35% to 46.2% of people’s impressions changed when they were asked the same questions four years later.
“How we think about our past relationships serves as the basis for how we navigate new relationships,” Chopik said. “This study shows that how we make sense of our past might continue to change as we live life and reflect on ourselves.”