Why do humans forget important things, but maintain embarrassing things like when we called our teacher mom?

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Why do humans forget important things, but maintain embarrassing things like when we called our teacher mom?

In: Biology
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There’s probably a better answer out there, but afaik the gist of it is that part of the reason we have emotions is as a signal to the brain saying “hey, this experience is important, remember it”

Negativity bias. For whatever reason, the brain seems to put more emphasis on negative things than positive things, even when both things are equally intense. For example, losing $20 will seem more significant than gaining $20.

Because negative things seem more significant, they are more easily remembered and weigh more on your mental state.

Side note, that’s why bad news seems to happen more often than good news. People respond more to bad news, so it gets spread more.

It’s been proven that traumatic events effect children’s memories more than adults. Calling your teacher mom must’ve been traumatic thus “deleting” another “happy” memory.
It’s also the way your brain is wired, if you’re a pesimist you’re more likey to remember the unhappy memory than the happy one.

Our ape brain is less evolved to remember facts and more evolved to try and prevent bad things from happening to us in the future based on our past experiences.

For instance, the social stigma/embarrassment of calling our teacher “mom” is a thing the brain doesn’t want us to forget because social stigma could mean death in a world where not getting to sit by the fire means getting attacked by a pack of wolves, while your other important fact is probably not as important to an ape brain – probably doesn’t mean death.

“Normalcy bias” works in a sort of opposite way – something bad may be happening, but no one wants to overreact because bad things don’t normally happen and people don’t want to face social stigma of overreacting.