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Understanding Memory: Explaining the Psychology of Memory through Movies (Coursera)

Welcome to Memory and Movies. Someone once said that memory is fascinating because sometimes we forget what we want to remember, sometimes we remember what we want to forget, and sometimes we remember events that never happened or never happened the way we remember them. I want to show you how memory works, why it sometimes fails, and what we can do to enhance memory function, especially as we get older. Rather than covering all aspects of human memory, I will provide an introduction to the scientific study of memory by focusing on a select group of topics that hold widespread popular appeal.

All of my lectures will describe what has been learned about memory in a nontechnical way for people with no prior background in psychology. To facilitate your understanding, I will use clips from numerous films to illustrate different aspects of memory. Many of us love watching movies because they offer an unparalleled opportunity for entertainment, even if entertaining films are not always scientifically accurate. Still, I believe that we can learn a lot about memory from popular films, if we watch them with an educated eye.

Welcome once more. I am looking forward to showing you what films can teach us about memory.


Week 1: Memory Processes and Memory Movies

Week 2: Making Long Lasting Memories

Week 3: Autobiographical Memories and Life Stories

Week 4: Understanding the Reality of Amnesia

Week 5: Senior Moments, Forgetfulness, and Dementia