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“Unethical amnesia”: subconscious deliberately suppresses memories of dishonesty

LNM Radio Network

LNM Radio Network

People are prone to repeat dishonest acts because the human subconscious deliberately suppresses memories of unethical behavior, scientists have found.
Fiddling expenses, cheating the taxman and even extramarital affairs are all less likely to be remembered than virtuous acts because of the phenomenon of “unethical amnesia”, according to researchers at Harvard and Northwestern Universities.
Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the new study explains how the brain actively adopts strategies to avoid remembering instances of bad behavior in order to avoid psychological distress.

These include “re-coding” previous actions by subconsciously dehumanising the victims of dishonesty.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/05/16/unethical-amnesia-subconscious-deliberately-suppresses-memories/