Thanks for the Memories

Have someone slowly read this list out loud. (If you don't 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
thread point
eye thorn
candy hurt
syringe honey
sugar thimble
haystack cloth
sewing soda
bitter pin
chocolate heart
sharp injection
good cake
prick tart
taste pie
tooth knitting

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

mad wrath
fear happy
hill climb
hate fight
rage valley
glacier summit
hatred mean
goat top
bike calm
temper plain
fury range
molehill emotion
ire climber
steep enrage
peak ski
Compare the words that you wrote down to the original lists.

What's Going On?

Most people falsely remember the words sweet and needle as being on the first list and the words angry and mountain 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 to 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.

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