What clues does our memory use to connect a current situation to a situation from the past? A study conducted by researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, – working in collaboration with CY Cergy Paris University in France – demonstrated that similarities in structure and essence (the heart of a situation) guide our recollections rather than surface similarities (the general theme, for example, or the setting or protagonists). It is only when individuals lack sufficient knowledge that they turn to the surface clues — the easiest to access — to recollect a situation.
The research calls into question the received idea that our memory is guided by the principle of the easiest option and that surface features dominate recall. “A human being’s way of remembering is less superficial than was thought, and in all likelihood favours structure over surface,” adds professor Sander. “It’s only out of ignorance that superficial clues will take precedence.” says professor Clément by way of conclusion. (1)
The essence. Not the surface.
How can you think of the surface anyway?
There is nothing to see in the waves of the ocean.
It is its depths that hold the light.
Yes, you can swim well.
Only because you are afraid to drown…
Was there any point in time when you couldn’t ride the waves?
Listen to the flowers.
What could be deeper than the surface?