In May of 2016, Forbes published a piece about a psychological phenomenon called "Unethical Amnesia." The basics of the phenomenon are: (Forbes May 2016, "Unethical Amnesia: We Tend To forget Our Own Bad Behavior")
- people genuinely do tend to forget the details of their own transgressions.
- engaging in bad behavior affects the memory such that memories of those unethical actions gradually become less clear than other memories
- “Unethical behavior creates psychological distress and discomfort, and unethical amnesia lowers it.”
I will admit to serious skepticism regarding 'Unethical Amnesia." It seems more plausible that people who are basically dishonest and who tend to lie profusely (as does Donald Trump) literally speak extemporaneously (for the moment) without any level of contemplation of what comes out of the mouth; as long as it sounds good and, or, pleases a minion laden audience. Despite my skepticism, the prospect of Trump's suffering from Unethical Amnesia is worthy of a few minutes of contemplation.
Forbes linked. PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States) study link (from which I have posted a few paragraphs just below).
Duly noted, interesting, but fails to explain Trump's lies and his subsequent appearance of forgetfulness.
The prospect of a psychological state referred to as "unethical Amnesia" while intriguing indices a bit of dissonance for me. What about the reality of Trump as a serial liar who fact-checkers to the fact-checking company found lies over 90% of the time.
Trump's Politifact Scorecard
PNAS research study aside a reality and with full acceptance the 'amnesia' may affect some, Trump is not a candidate for such a rational prospect. Trump, the serial liar, operates at a level of ethics (or the lack thereof) which probably doesn't lend to the scope of the amnesia study. Trump's forgetfulness may be much more the by-product of copious (first thought to tell a lie) disregard for the truth. If we bundle Trump's disregard for the truth with without question success throughout his life resultant from his lying and mix it with millions of celebrity worshipping minions, we have America circa 2016/17.