Why is it that in our memories of our friends when we were kids, none of them seem to have childish features or look “kiddish”. But now as adults looking at kids the exact age, they look so young?

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Why is it that in our memories of our friends when we were kids, none of them seem to have childish features or look “kiddish”. But now as adults looking at kids the exact age, they look so young?

In: 39

Is that a thing that happens? I just see young people as young

Your memory is not merely a picture album. Your memories also consist of your impressions of things you had at the time. At the time, you were also a kid, kids your age were your peers, people you probably considered about as mature and knowledgeable as yourself. And so that impression from back then colors your memory of those events.

Also, memories are not static, the very act of remembering something has the potential to change and shift the memory subtly.

Over time you’ve learned many associations. Back then, you associated those faces with things like ‘friend’, ‘peer’, ‘like me’.

And decades later you associate those faces with things like ‘youth’, ‘innocence’, ‘children’ and so on.

It’s the same reason why one person can look at a portrait picture and think ‘average middle-aged man’ while another person might see that face and think ‘monster, butcher, warcrimina’ because they have very different associations. It’s the same non-descript middle-aged man but the associations are very different.

Perspective.

You were the same age. You saw the same world.

Now you see a different one.

memory is relative. everyone looks like the last time you saw them regardless when the memory is from.

we don’t remember names for example, we remember how the name is different or similar to other names we ‘know’