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Our brains are far from perfectly functioning recorders of our life events.
Researchers have demonstrated just how easy it is to trick the mind into remembering something that didn’t happen.
They also used two very simple techniques to reverse those false memories.
The human memory system is fallible and malleable, so much so that it is possible—and even quite common—for people to possess false memories.
Memory glitches can lead to all sorts of social implications, especially in the legal and forensic field.
But now, for the first time ever, scientists have evidence showing they can reverse false memories!
"When people describe a memory, they will say that they are ‘absolutely certain’ of it. But this certainty can be an illusion. We suffer from the illusion of believing that our memories are accurate and pure"
"As the field of memory research has developed, it’s become very clear that our memories are not ‘recordings’ of the past that can be played back but rather are reconstructions, closer to imaginings informed by seeds of true experiences"
"The same way that you can suggest false memories, you can reverse them by giving people a different framing"
Oeberst’s study is innovative in suggesting that it’s equally as easy to reverse false memories.
Knowing the base truth isn’t even necessary to revert the fake recollections.
Use these two techniques:
Takeaway is that every memory is a meta-memory, or an interpretation of a past time, one that can be impurified or purified by suggestions from the social environment. Simple awareness of this fact is crucial.
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