This week we learnt about false memories. I was amazed by this phenomenon because I never thought a person can have recollection of an event, or the details of an event, that did not actually occur. We did a very interesting activity in discussion, we were asked to recall some words that our TA said. However, most of us wrote down some wrong words that were relevant to the words our TA actually said. From this activity, I found that it is very easy to create false memories in our daily lives. In my opinion, I guess people make false memories because of two main reasons. First, they mix their real memories with other relevant things, like the activity we did in class. Second, people tend to remember things they want to happen but never happen as false memories.
When I search the Internet, I found some very interesting studies by Elizabeth Loftus, one of the most important scientists in the area of memory evidece and false memories.
Loftus wanted to test whether false memories could be implanted into one person's psyche. She used people being lost in the mall to study false memories. Before asking participants, she made sure that these people never experienced being lost in a mall by interviewing their closest relatives. The participants were asked about being lost in the mall. Even though that never happened, people came to "remember" being lost in the mall after being asked many questions about details of lost.
Here is a video about Loftus's study about lost in a shopping mall.