Misattribution – the failure to remember the source of learned information, however, the information remains intact. One of the seven Sins of Memory proposed by Daniel Schacter. Forgetting the source of learned information can be quite problematic. I have always been haunted by a mishap in my early years of teaching at the University of New Hampshire. I relayed to my class that sweat and urine have almost the identical chemical structure, which is why they both smell bad. A student returned the next day of class showing me the chemical structure of both compounds, which had been verified by his Chemistry Advisor. They were in no way similar. I later remembered that I heard that information from Steve at a party. I thought Steve spoke the truth, as he was a graduate student in the Chemistry program at the time. However, Steve also had a reputation of telling girls whatever they needed to hear for him to get what he wanted. Had I remembered I learned it from Steve, I would have thought twice about sharing it with my class. It was at that moment that I realized his conversation was a desperate attempt to flirt with girls at the party.

Kowalski, R. M., & Westen, D. (2009). Psychology (5th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
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