A false memory is a fabrication or warped recollection of an event that someone may believe happened, but in reality never happened. People think of memory as a video recorder, which accurately records everything. However, memory is very susceptible to fallacy. People who are completely confident that their memory is accurate could be fooling themselves.
Interestingly enough, according to two researchers, adults are more prone to this than children. Valerie Reyna, human development professor, and Chuck Brainerd, human development and law school professor; argue that memories are captured and recorded separately and differently in two distinct parts of the mind; much like the two-headed Roman god Janus
These two hypothesize that children depend more heavily on a part of the mind that records "what actually happened," while adults use the other part of the mind that records, "the meaning of what happened." Such a difference results in adults being more susceptible to false memories than children.
"Because children have fewer meaning-based experience records, they are less likely to form false memories," says Reyna. "But the law assumes children are more susceptible to false memories than adults."
Their research shows that children are less likely to produce false memories than adults, and are more likely to give accurate testimony when properly questioned. The finding doesn't exactly square with current legal tenets, and may cause many problems in future legal proceedings.