Confabulation Is Normal

A fascinating article in New Scientist by Helen Phillips focused on “confabluation,” a tendency for folks in older age to “develop amnesia about recent happenings while retaining memory of their younger days.” Wrote Phillips:

“Until fairly recently it was seen simply as a neurological deficiency – a sign of something gone wrong. Now, however, it has become apparent that healthy people confabulate too. … we may all confabulate routinely as we try to rationalise decisions or justify opinions. Why do you love me? Why did you buy that outfit? Why did you choose that career? At the extreme, some experts argue that we can never be sure about what is actually real and so must confabulate all the time to try to make sense of the world around us.”

Ah yes, there is no objective reality. Reality is socially constructed through language, through story.