- For Teachers
What is "beyond reality"? Does it mean it increases more than the actual memory?
After an event, all one has are memories of it. Because most waits expect a desired outcome, it is the memory of the outcome that dominates, not the intermediate components. If the overall outcome is pleasurable enough, any unpleasantness suffered along the way is minimized. Terence Mitchell and Leigh Thompson call this ‘rosy retrospection.’ Mitchell and his colleagues studied participants in a 12-day tour of Europe, students going home for Thanksgiving vacation and a three-week bicycle tour across California. In all of these cases, the results were similar. Before an event, people looked forward with positive anticipation. Afterward, they remembered fondly. During? Well, reality seldom lives up to expectations, so plenty of things go wrong. As memory takes over, however, the unpleasantness fades and the good parts remain, perhaps to intensify, and even get amplified beyond reality.