pfei0169: October 2011 Archives

Memories are usually what remain over time to help us remember events, right? Well believe it or not, some of your memories could be false memories. False memories are memories that did not actually occur; you just think that they happened. One example of this would be having a parent or guardian tell you vivid details about how you were lost in the mall as a child. At first you do not believe them but then you start to picture yourself in the situation and soon enough you believe that it happened. Surely, it never did. Details were just planted into your head and you believed that they were true. This is what Elizabeth Loftus did in a study at the University of California.
http://www.spring.org.uk/2008/02/implanting-false-memories-lost-in-mall.php
My question is though, are false memories and déjà vu linked? Some scientists say that on can experience déjà vu after doing something that they were unconscious of at the time of the event. So it makes me wonder. Can false memories also be a part of déjà vu? I think that it seems pretty plausible. Obviously false memories do not cause déjà vu (correlation vs causation) but it could be an explanation.
A real life example for myself is that I imagine that I am snowboarding in Colorado, something I have never done before. I think about all the details ranging from the temperature to my apparel I'm wearing. It's so vivid that I imagine that I actually was there. Then three months later I'm actually snowboarding in Colorado and I experience déjà vu. Did my implantation of a false memory spark an episode of déjà vu?

Have you ever felt like you've already done something or have already seen what you just did? Then you have experienced déjà vu. Déjà vu is French for already seen. The psychological explanation for déjà vu is that you have been familiar with something that you weren't aware or conscious of until the moment you think you have déjà vu.Some believe that it is familiar-based experiences. One site that supports this belief is http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081118122146.htm
For me I wonder, what about experiencing déjà vu in a place that you have never been? For instance, you and your family are going on vacation to Hawaii, a place that no one in your family has been too. Your family has never gone on a tropical vacation, just to South Dakota. You haven't looked at images of Hawaii so it's a really unfamiliar to you. You get there and as you are driving you have an episode of déjà vu. What I wonder is using the psychological explanation, how would someone explain the whole "unconscious" thing? To me, I think there could be something more. Maybe people can predict the future in their dreams. However, it can never be falsified and it really can't be replicated because maybe it only happens to some people once while others multiple times. The people it does happen to, they cannot control it. I do think that the psychological explanation for déjà vu is the best explanation however it does make me wonder if there is a better one, even if it does defy the laws of scientific thinking.

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