False Memories

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How do you truly know if a memory is real? In the well-known movie TheMatrix.jpgThe Matrix, where machines have taken over the world and live off of human beings, they raise and harvest humans, while creating an artificial reality for the minds of all the people. In their simulated reality, people believe they are living their lives when they are really in a pod being fed through a tube. All of their life experiences and memories are real to them, yet they do not exist. Memories of life experiences help to form opinions and beliefs, and essentially, make us who we are. Of course, this movie hypothetically portrays an extreme situation of creating false memories, but it brings up a good point about the importance of memories.
In the Lilienfield text, it talks about implanting false memories by suggestion or the misinformation effect. Through studies, it was proven that we could cause people to create alter or create completely new memories. By using certain words that suggestible or inputting a false thing or idea among valid ideas, the false idea is less likely to cause a red flag. Typically, the memories that were created were plausible and not extreme, but there some exceptions to the level of plausibility of false memories (an example of an extreme false memory can be found here: http://www.kspope.com/memory/facade.php.) The limits of creating false memories seem to be when the memory is reasonable and in the distant past where the memories have become fuzzy and difficult to recall exact details.
I have personally experienced memories that have never occurred. For the longest time, I believed that I witnessed a tornado. Whenever the subject of tornadoes came up in a discussion, I would bring up my false experience; even divulging in details of the weather or how I felt. In time, I realized that I never saw a tornado during my childhood. I realized this during a discussion during supper with my mother and siblings. My false memory was most likely created from watching movies and hearing horror stories about tornadoes. Additionally, as a child, I watched The Wizard of Oz numerously because it was one of my favorite movies. Suggestive or deceptive techniques can shape our memories. Our memories are very fallible because they are constructive inside of our brain. While we can remember details from years ago quite accurately, we should be cautious in trusting the validity of our memory because it is often inaccurate.

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This page contains a single entry by tanxx339 published on October 23, 2011 1:51 PM.

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