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The “false memories becoming real” experiment

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In 1995 and ‘96 researchers documented a study. It was about the ease of planting a false memory in people of being lost in the mall as a child. The false event was told to the participants alongside true events. It was then absorbed into the true memory after repeating it just a few times. They actually thought the event happened.

The study became a source of argument. It showed how unreliable the memory was.  The study had a challenge. Participants may have had childhood experiences of being lost.  Maybe the study did not implant false memories and actually recovered lost ones!

People had their memories implanted with images of meeting Bugs Bunny at Disneyland. This was proof that this criticism was wrong in a later study. They would not ever meet Bugs Bunny at Disneyland so it could not have been a lost memory.

 

Loftus, E. F., & Pickrell, J. E. (1995). The formation of false memories. Psychiatric annals, 25(12), 720-725. Google Scholar Citations: 677
Loftus, E. F., Coan, J. A., & Pickrell, J. E. (1996). Manufacturing false memories using bits of reality. Implicit memory and metacognition, 195-220. Google Scholar Citations: 71

By | 2017-03-17T10:56:33+00:00 March 17th, 2017|Categories: Interesting Facts|Tags: |0 Comments

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