If you do not think of a person as high as you once had, the memories associated with that person can change, says the study.
As our memories disappear, we rely on our current assessment of people to remember how we felt in the past, and, the study suggests, it extends to some of the most important figures in our lives, like parents.
"The memories of the love we felt in childhood toward our parents are among the most precious aspects of autobiographical memory that we can think of," said author Lavrence Patihis of the University of South Mississippi, USA.
"Nevertheless, our findings suggest that these remembrance of love is flexible – which is not something we would like to be true," Patihis said.
The study, published in the journal Clinical Psichological Science, is based on two experiments involving more than 300 participants.
The research has shown that people change someone's estimate, but also changes the memory of their emotions towards them. "It refers to the memory of the love of mothers in childhood," explained Patihis.
"The significance of this research lies in the new knowledge that our present estimates of people may be reduced if we decide to focus on the negative, and this may have a side effect – reducing the positive aspects of childhood memory," Patihis said. .