Morality in Memory Based Decision Making

After talking to our unofficial mentor for this project, I was exposed to how morality, as created by memory (which is explained in PAM), affects our decision making. Morality is what we view as “right or wrong”, “socially acceptable, not acceptable” etc. Often times people will make a decision based on what they believe fits their morale standards. This tendency is often made to avoid feeling guilt later, or due to empathy for a person/situation. I think this is a really interesting aspect of PAM and memory based decision making that my group and I were not able to delve into. If I were to conduct further research I would include experiments testing how extreme the affects of morality are on one’s decision making. 



Benjamin Franklin

I believe that I am closest to Benjamin Franklin. Franklin was a man of science, he wanted the facts to back his decisions. He understood that he was part of a bigger thing whether it be the future of the newly formed union or his advancements in electricity. I would like to be more like Franklin, I would like to be free of bias and be able to make educated and informed decisions without bias. Not only was Franklin a fair man but he was also a genius being able to deduce things from nothing. Electricity is a prime example of this, Franklin’s creativity, ingenuity, and genius, is, in my opinion, the epitome of  critical thinking. And seeing as it is my goal to become a more critical thinker I would like to follow in the steps of Benjamin Franklin.

StumbleUpon isn’t that bad either

Found another source, well not another source more of a targeted search engine is a search engine that only searches through scientific articles and shows the most credible first, it’s a great search engine and has helped me find other sources such as this helpful talk: “The Predictive Brain: How Past Memories Influence Future Decisions” presented by Alison R. Preston, Ph.D., Center for Learning & Memory, Departments of Psychology & Neurobiology, The University of Texas at Austin.



I finally found an article on my topic! I have been looking for papers on how memories affect decisions, but its been hard to find articles with credible sources, until now! I recently found a paper from the Center for Decisions Sciences at Colombian University. The paper details PAM or Preference-As-Memory. Like it sounds PAM is a theory that states the preferences are molded by memory. Preferences are formed by memories in three different ways: order of queries, priming, and the presentation of certain memories. I won’t go into full detail of how these three aspects work (that would take a 28 page post) but the gist of it is:

-Order of Queries- The order in which you approach a process affects how you think. For example if one were to think of all the pros for doing something before they thought of all the cons, their mind, subconsciously, would pay more attention to the pros. In effect just thinking of the pros of something first hinders one from thinking of the cons.

-Priming- Subtle events that have happened before or are happening that alter your decisions. For example if Italian music is playing in a winery than sales of Italian wine will increase. People will not consciously pick  the Italian wine, but just hearing the music will encourage someone to pick up a bottle of Bianco or Rosso.

-Presentation of Thought- While this doesn’t help memories construct preferences Presentation of Thought refers to the hierarchy of memories (i.e. people can give the price of a Root Beer ($1.00) but when asked what is $1.00 they will not be able to say root bear right away. Memories are ordered this way to have a manageable amount of relevant data. many decision models do not account for this, but PAM does making it more accurate (at least in the eyes of the doctors at the Center for Decisions Sciences at Colombian University).




Following American Pyschology

I followed American Psychology because they have interesting articles on memories and it was one of the few sites with credible sources that I could find the subscription button on. American Psychology has credible sources and articles on how memories affect decision making, which is a topic that I want to expand on in the future.