We might worry about what it means for justice if an eyewitness can be so easily swayed by a leading question. But there’s a good reason for the fallibility of our memories. It allows us to time-travel mentally, at will, in the opposite direction – into the future. After more than a century of systematic research into the way our memories work, psychologists are turning their attention to the way we imagine what’s coming. The most significant finding is the degree to which future thinking relies on our memory for the past. The evidence for this comes from a range of sources. In addition to forgetting the past, people with amnesia often find it difficult to imagine the future.
– Claudia Hammond