jack0682: October 2011 Archives

Impact of False Memories

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430.jpgMemory illusions. Before the topic arose in class, I believed anyone who came up with "false memories" had to be crazy! Now I see how easy it is, according to Loftus's findings as well as the tragedy of the Ingram case. False memories can be implanted and encouraged through suggestion, or simply misleading information. This article says even watching a simple video of someone can create a false memory of yourself doing the action! This finding is incredibly important to take into consideration when it comes to heavy court cases that effect the lives of those involved. As we had experienced in class (refer to above picture) we could see that a list of words could create a false memory, but think about if we were to enter a court case similar to the Ingram family? Or any case that needs vital information for that matter... False memories have the potential to impact any court case because of how convincing the information seems. In other words, other people have potential to control situations of court if they use the right technique. This, in my opinion, should be taken into deep consideration for law review, so that any type of suggesting a false memory should be struck down by the court because it is completely invalid. The only problem is, who knows when it is a false memory or not? Those same suggestions and memories are what the court is trying to determine, anyways. I wonder if more research could help identify what constitutes a memory as being "false" if we had no prior knowledge to the suggestion of that memory. For now, however, we should stick to hard evidence as the courts are supposed to be.

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Many times we hear people believe others "have an addictive personality" to drug and alcohol abuse. Addictive personalities, as the Lilienfeld text states, are more likely due to personality traits predisposing the individual to abuse, rather than having a single outline of an addictive personality. Personality traits, such as impulsivity, seem to direct people towards abuse. These traits may instead be a result from substance misuse. No test has yet falsified this research. However, this article shows the GABRB3 of chromosome 15 has some sort of connection to alcoholism. Understanding addictive personality traits is incredibly important, where it affect the population either directly or indirectly. I cannot even fathom the fact that over 15 million people are dependent on alcohol (source: drug-rehabs.org). My family has battled alcohol/drug addiction for five generations. My own brother, with a college career down the drain and no contact with my family, suffers addiction. These situations are incredibly tough, so if there is a way to scientifically figure out this "addictive personality" concept, maybe more help could tend to people like my brother, your uncle, or your best friend's mother. I wonder as this newfound GABRB3 gene is examined, whether they will even be able to find something to counter it? I suppose just understanding something is the first step... hopefully they are on the right track.

Another neat thing I found: This website offers a test in which you can see if you are prone to addiction, rather than going by popular culture magazines determining your health.

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