False Memory

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According to the Loftus article, it is possible to change details of one's memories for previously experienced events, and people also can plant entirely false memories into the minds of unsuspecting individuals, even if sometimes the events would be implausible or even impossible. Memories can be fixed and changed over time and held with a great degree of confidence.

The most interesting thing I found from Loftus article is that people can change others' memories by using suggestive methods. An example in the article is that in one study that 33% of the subjects were convinced when they were children they had nearly drowned and had to be rescued by a lifeguard. Another example shows that people can remember seeing Bugs Bunny at Disney Land in their early life after seeing fake Disney ads that mentioned Bugs Bunny. This shows subjects can be suggested not only to have fake memories of normal events, but also events are particularly horrible. As a result of the suggestive methods, the subjects are sure about the fake memories suggested by the others.

In my opinion, I think suggestive methods are capable to lead people to have false beliefs and memories, and they can make subjects so sure about the fake memories. Subjects tend to have strong emotions and reactions when they are told the memories are suggested and created by others. They have been convinced that these memories have actually happened during the process of receiving suggestions. Subjects are also imaging these fake memories and become more confident when engaging in the imagination inflation phenomenon. It is interesting to think that we can actually plan an idea into someone deep mind and make that person believe in it.

I have an experience about false memory when I was about five years old. I remember I won a bet over my dad, and the result was that I was getting a new toy from him. However, in my memory, my dad denied the result and told me the bet never happened. I still remember that we quarrel on a train about if I actually won the bet and if I should get the toy. After reading this article, I am not sure if I ever won a bet, or if the bet has ever happened. However, I was deeply convinced that I did won and I should get the toy, and with the time goes, I became more and more convinced about this event.

At the end, I think it is very important to have an accurate recollection of past experiences in our everyday lives. Even though it is hard to tell the difference between the real memories and fake memories, it can decide one's life in certain situations. The example in the article mentioned that some people have gone to prison for the fact that fake memories are used as testimonies.

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This page contains a single entry by wang1926 published on October 23, 2011 12:49 AM.

Punishment was the previous entry in this blog.

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