Are memories reliable? Expert explains how they change more than we realise
Storytellers form a different memory of a story they are reciting, due to mutation in how differently it is told to audiences each time, and how much of an artistic licence is used to change certain details of the story.
Over time the changed or mutated story seems like the original one in the storyteller's mind, something known as the Audience-Tuning Effect.
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A false memory refers to a distorted recall of an event.
They can be completely unreal. In some cases, false memories may comprise aspects of the fact that have been disto...
Common elements of false memory include:
Memory is essentially an activation of neural networks inside the brain, which are dynamic in nature.
We can form memories as infants, but we do not have the ability to sto...
We all can form complex false memories in us, and it can even impact our decision making and future behavior. Planting false memories in a person can be used to tackle certain disorders like obesity and alcoholism.
Memory researchers have concluded that it is possible to induce fictional memories of the past in volunteers and even make them believe in some past criminal deeds that never happened.
False memories are a challenge in legal cases, as they are indistinguishable from real memories, with any distortion being undetectable.
Certain regression therapies where patients confront their buried childhood memories are prone to ‘implantation’ of false memories in their minds.
We all misremember things. However, false memories are not so much mistakes but can be very detailed fantasies. Some people remember precise details of an event they attended, only to later real...
False memories are not useless. It seems that they're able to improve our mental processing.
Memories are our reality. Remembering isn't just looking up fact's from our mental files. It's more like telling stories. If we forget, we reconstruct the details, even if the details are false.
When we remember what something 'should' look like, we will often construct a memory to fit the mould.
False memories can also happen to groups and could lead to mass delusions. People were shown a fake CCTV footage of a shop robbery and discussed what they’d seen. One of the participants introduced false ideas: the thief had a gun, right? Three in four people later recounted these fabricated ‘facts’ when questioned.