What I Will Remember: False Memories

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As I begin to reflect on this semester's class of Psychology 1001, I realize that I have indeed learned and absorbed a lot of new information. However, the concept that currently seems to stick out most in my mind is false memories. In chapter seven of the Lilienfield text named, "Memory," I read about how psychologists implant false memories in the lab. Many psychologists use suggestive memory techniques, which are defined as procedures that strongly encourage people to recall memories, often creating false ones.

In discussion the following week, we read about the case of Paul Ingram and how the creation of false memories ultimately destroyed his life. Paul's daughters and later Paul himself, all developed false memories about Paul performing various accounts of sexual assault on his two daughters. These memories were initially prompted to one of his daughters by a church camp counselor and then while under stressful conditions in jail, Paul began to admit to the accusations.

This concept is very interesting to me and I am confident that I will remember it five years from now, especially because of the Paul Ingram case. It startles me that Paul's guilty plea was still valid even though a psychiatrist had come in and proved that he was creating false memories. I am curious as to how the human brain takes in the suggested ideas or memories and actually justifies them or makes them to be true. Furthermore, it makes me think about suspects being interrogated and if the interrogators would be able to question them in such a way that they themselves would begin to think that they committed the crime, when in fact they are innocent. I find it almost frightening how easily the human mind can be manipulated


Click here to read the full Paul Ingram story

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Doesn't it make you question the stories your friends and relatives tell you... maybe they just have false memories. :)

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This page contains a single entry by limxx287 published on December 4, 2011 3:30 PM.

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