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St. Mary's College of Maryland
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'On the Often Outrageous Value of Memories' by Dr. Patrick Vargas '92
Try to recall your first kiss, or the time you bought your first car and drove it home. Now imagine that someone is both willing and able to buy those memories from you...
Participants asked to sell specific episodic memories wanted astronomical sums per memory. Dr. Vargas proposes that one primary reason people value their memories is because they do not understand the reconstructive nature of memory. People believe memories make them who they are; the opposite is more likely true.
Patrick Vargas double-majored in philosophy and psychology at SMCM and went on to pursue graduate studies in social psychology (with a minor in quantitative psychology) at The Ohio State University. He completed post-doctoral research at the University of New South Wales. Since 1998, Vargas has been at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; he is currently an Associate Professor of Advertising.