A False Memory Is The Recollection Of An Event That Never

1361 WordsApr 16, 20176 Pages
A false memory is the recollection of an event that never occurred. Formation of false memories happens due to a variety of factors, including hypnosis, source confusion, and suggestion (Gray and Bjorklund, 2014). Another cause is simply imagining the occurrence of an event, and over time it becomes believed that this event actually happened. This phenomenon is known as the imagination inflation effect. Previous research indicated that telling individuals that an event happened to them during their childhood lead to a belief that the event happened, as well as the development of a memory of the event, even though the event never occurred (Mazzoni and Memon, 2003). A physiological reason why imagination inflation occurs is sleep…show more content…
One participant did not report their age. Participants provided their racial background; 62.16% reported themselves as white, non-Hispanic, 2.70% as Black, non-Hispanic, 4.05% as Hispanic/Latino, 24.32% as Asian, and 6.76% as multiple racial categories. For the seven nights prior to testing, participants were asked to record how many hours they had slept each night in a sleep diary and bring that data to the study. During the study-phase of the experiment, participants viewed a presentation consisting of the names of 72 objects, for each of which participants were asked to imagine the image of this object as vividly as possible. Each word was flashed on the screen for 0.3 seconds, and was followed by a blank screen lasting 2.5 seconds. Following this, for 36 of the objects, a picture of the object flashed on the screen for 0.3 seconds, and for the other 36 a blank rectangle appeared for 0.3 seconds. The objects with images and the objects with blank rectangles were randomly ordered. Throughout the presentation, approximately every minute, there were 20 second breaks to allow cognitive rest. Following the study-phase, participants completed several tasks for a 10 minute period before the test-phase began, to allow false memory formation to occur. First, participants completed a vividness of visual imagery measure. Given several descriptions of images, participants were asked to rate the vividness of a specific aspect of the image from 1 to 5, with 1 being “no

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