Britons remember historic events more clearly than personal moments

March 2nd, 2009 - 6:38 pm ICT by ANI  

Princess Diana

London, Mar 2 (ANI): When it comes to remembering things, Britons are better at recalling events in recent history than some of the key moments in their own personal lives, according to a study.
News of the 9/11 terror attacks was an event remembered in vivid details by a majority of adults, while they failed to properly describe the birth of their first child.
In a survey commissioned to mark the launch of UKTV’’s new history channel, 300 people were asked to recall exact details of 32 personal and historical memories, ranging from their first kiss to the death of Princess Diana.
And it was found that the shocking events of national or international importance could outdo memories of personal events.
The news of the World Trade Centre attacks topped the list of historic memories ingrained in the mind-82 percent respondents recalled the events in detail.
On the other hand, only 65 per cent participants in the survey could recall the birth of their first newborn to the same level.
Around 81 per cent of participants could recollect who told them about 9/11, 84 per cent remembered what time it was when they heard about it, 92 per cent knew where they were when they heard the news and 71 per cent recalled their ongoing activity, nearly eight years on.
It was revealed that the public’’s memories of Princess Diana’’s death equally strong, with 62 per cent of the participants able to remember details of exactly when they were told about the tragedy, who told them, where they were and what they were doing at the time.
On the contrary, just 50 per cent of respondents could recall their first child’’s first birthday, and 46 per cent of the same group were able to recollect significant details about their first day at secondary school.
The third most recalled historic event was the July 7 London bombings, with 58 per cent of respondents able to vividly recollect the attacks.
Only 38 per cent of people could remember their first major argument with their current partner in the same level of detail.
The results indicated that time did not diminish memories of crucial historical events.
But the study also found that personal memories close to the heart never faded, and comprised the majority of most remembered moments.
Nearly 81 per cent of respondents could vividly recollect the death of a close relative, while 76 per cent could remember their first date with their current partner.
Around 72 per cent could recollect their wedding day with clarity, while a romantic 66 per cent could easily describe their first kiss.
“The Yesterday Historical Study provides a fascinating insight into our recollection of key cultural events many years after they”ve happened,” the Telegraph quoted Professor Geoff Beattie of the University of Manchester, who led the study, as saying.
He added: “While we”re constantly reminded about personal milestones such as our wedding day or our children’’s birthdays through photographs or family gatherings, we rarely talk about the big historical moments, and yet we remember where we were, what we were doing, and even the exact time of day that we heard about them with absolute clarity years afterwards.” (ANI)

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