Chris Watts’ “photographic memory” provides a unique window into his mind, and his psychology

There’s something very unusual about Chris Watts. He has what a former teacher has described as “a photographic memory”. What criminal psychology teaches is not to look at the thing itself, but at the things surrounding it. So although we ought to understand and make sure whether the terminology is accurate, what we can say broadly is that photographic memory is often associated with introversion, and social dysfunction.

Think Sheldon Cooper. Smart, but badly out of whack in ordinary social settings, and even worse at engaging with the opposite sex.

The “photographic memory” [also known as eidetic memory] tends to involve shared traits, including lefthandedness. Was Chris Watts left-handed?

More interesting in terms of this case is the psychological connection between “photographic memory” and the inverted personality. It may explain why Shan’ann said Chris Watts “has no game”. If it was a real problem, it may have irritated Shan’ann and she may have felt her husband was weak, when it was more a question of wiring than his attitude to her or to her marriage.

Watts arraignment hearing

GREELEY, CO – AUGUST 21: Christopher Watts is in court for his arraignment hearing at the Weld County Courthouse on August 21, 2018 in Roggen, Colorado. Watts faces nine charges, including several counts of first-degree murder of his wife and his two young daughters. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post)

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12 thoughts on “Chris Watts’ “photographic memory” provides a unique window into his mind, and his psychology

  1. I don’t know what having a photographic memory entails. But I read that there is a difference between having an eidetic memory and a photographic memory in that children can possess an eidetic memory but it is lost once a child becomes an adult. But more to the point, how do you or anyone else here, think that possessing a photographic memory contributed to why Chris Watts committed murder, and/or his lack of a better plan for getting away with it.


  2. Did you miss the reference to Sheldon Cooper?

    Watch the video at the end, and observe the nature and the confidence of the guy when he talks to the camera, and see if you can answer the question.


  3. Okay, let me give it a shot. There seems to be a preoccupation with what is right in front of him (using the Sheldon Cooper clip) but he’s still out of touch with reality. There is focus – but the focus is what is going on in his head, not the other person. Like when someone can parrot something back to you – kind of how he delivered his relationship talk. He said the words, but he didn’t have any feeling that went with the words. It’s reducing your world down to stimulus-response. So it’s a limited view in a social context. Am I somewhat close? ANd if I am close then I will have to ponder what that means to me in the bigger context of who he is and why did he do what he did.


  4. Another question – do you find it interesting that Watts has been on suicide watch? I don’t recall Scott Peterson being on suicide watch after his arrest.


    • No. But often when families are killed by family members, the killers take their own lives afterwards. This is clearly not the case here, but the cops and DA are following protocol.


  5. A former work mate of his posted on reddit saying that he found it very hard to make Chris laugh. He was asked, by another Redditor, to upload a photo of Chris, he did so, with himself cropped out. Anyways, point was this made me consider HFA. ( Shan’ann also made a comment in one of her FBk posts about his lack of but slightly, improving sense of humour. Add that to the social skills deficits that others have claimed?


  6. Was Chris Watts left-handed? First of all, he still exists. It would be, is Chris Watts left-handed. And to answer your question, no. He is right-handed. Watch the footage. He crosses his right arm over the left, texts with his right hand, in interrogation his water bottle is at the right. And, lastly, when he marks where he disposed of his childrens bodies, he uses his right hand. So, don’t diss on lefties, when he is clearly a righty. That was an unnecessary speculation. And if you were observant, you would have known the “right” answer all along.


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