False Memory Essay

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Question: Is it possible to have a memory for something that you have not actually experienced? Evaluate the methodologies employed by researchers investigating the existence of false memories. A false memory can be described as a memory of an event that did not occur or a distortion of an event that did occur.False memories can occur due to a number of reasons.Some false memories are constructed of fragments of other memories that did occur and are being confused as happening at the same time. An error in source memory can also lead to false memories. This is where a memory exists but the sourse of the memory is unclear. You may have witnessed an insident or event on television as a child and recall it as an event you youeself had experienced. Being able to remember the source of an event and being able to differentiate it from fictional or witnessed events is essential to recall events in the past acuratley. False memories can also be created through suggestion and repitition of facts that can evevtualy be taken as true. Researchers focus on using two types of false memories, benine events and traumatic event memories. A false memory can be as simple as remembering a word that has not been presented. Or as serious a remembering an event which has never occurred. There are many false memories explored in the laboratory, using vey different techniques to implant or induce them. The Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm produces formations of false memory for words, for example participants are asked to study lists of words, often reporting seeing words that never appeared in the original list. In these experiments, the words in the list are semantically associated with the critical lure. For example using hospital themed words such as nurse, doctor and operation can often lead people to remembering ‘hospital’on the list, even when it has not appeared.
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