False Memories In Psychology

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False Memories Remembering something that never happened can be dangerous. False memories are seen as a touchy subject in the psychology field. They tend to happen in therapy sessions with a professional and usually include memories where one was abused as a child. They can tear families apart and cause great harm to people. It is very hard to prove a false memory as false and there is no absolute certainness that it can be proven. Why do these memories happen? There is no straight answer on what causes these false memories, but in recent studies, there have been determining factors found as to what might affect a false memory being created. Some of these determining factors include; suggestibility, arousal, and mere exposure, (Bernstein &…show more content…
They utilized the Deese–Roediger–McDermott (DRM) paradigm, which was a list of words which subjects were presented for recall or recognition to measure valence and a Brief Mood Introspection Scale (BMIS) scale, to measure subject 's moods. They hypothesized that if positive valence of mood is responsible for false memories happy and serene groups should show higher levels of recall and recognition. In the study, they had 222 subjects. The participants were all assigned to one of five different mood groups. It was concluded from their study that false memories were not due to valence and mood but instead arousal. In their study high arousal lead to a false recall. One of the restrictions noted in the study is the verbal working memory, since it might be the mechanism underlying the findings as the two approach emotions anger and happiness. This study supports the hypothesis in that this research cannot prove if a memory is true or false. Since it would be hard to tell how aroused a person is before a memory is brought up. One option would be having people fill out a Likert scale on arousal beforehand to obtain a person 's arousal…show more content…
In summation, all these research articles support the hypothesis that although there are different causes to false memories, none can determine if a person 's memory is true or false. Although these studies show what could be some of the causes of false memories, they cannot necessarily prove if a memory is true or false where it really matters. Certain factors such as suggestibility, arousal, and mere exposure can be said to influence false memories, but these alone will not determine if a person is telling the truth (Bernstein & Loftus, 2009; Corson & Verrier, 2007; Foster & Garry, 2012). Future studies could consider where these false memories are a problem and try to conduct their studies in these settings. They usually take place in the real world, not in a laboratory where the aforementioned studies took place. Future studies could also try to focus more on trying to create a more serious type of false memory. Unfortunately, this would be a violation of ethic codes. For the time being the studies available will only be able to create false memories with minor things as these studies did with food and instructions. As mentioned in Bernstein and Loftus (2009), a therapist could not ethically deceive their own patients, even if it 's for their patients ' own good. Putting the idea to practice will be trickier than it

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