False Memory

2086 Words Aug 24th, 2012 9 Pages
False Memory and Your Imagination
Diana Bunch
PSY 511

False Memory and Your Imagination The power of suggestion or through a vivid imagination are just a couple ways that psychological research has shown ways in which false memories are created. A false memory is an untrue or distorted reminiscence of an event that did not actually happen. In reality, memory is very susceptible to error. People can feel completely assured that their memory is accurate, but this assurance is no guarantee that a specific memory is correct. Existing knowledge and other memories can affect the creation of a new memory, causing the memory of an event to be mistaken or entirely false. Memory researcher Elizabeth Loftus (1997) has demonstrated through her
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The overall conclusion of this study indicate that the critical factor in determining the effect of divided attention on false memory is the manner in which memory is tested.
This divided attention can affect adults and children through the false memory phenomena. Otgaar, Peters, and Howe (2012) conducted a study to examine the impact of divided attention on children’s and adults’ neutral and negative true and false memories in the DRM paradigm. They expected all participants to falsely recall more neutral false memories than negative ones. It was also predicted that divided attention would affect children’s and adults’ false memories differently; particularly that dividing attention should decrease children’s false memories. Participants included 78 seven year olds, 48 eleven year olds, and 52 young adults around the age of twenty-one. Results found that divided attention significantly affected children’s and adults’ false recall in opposite ways. Specifically, with children when attention was divided, false memories decreased whereas with adults, dividing attention increased false memory levels.
From all the above stated research thus far, it can easily be suggested that false memories stemming in childhood are carried over into adulthood. Due to the nature of this, research has also been conducted in an attempt to reverse the effects. Holliday, Brainerd, and Reyna (2011) investigated the possibility that false memory could be subjected to the

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