Monday, April 13, 2020

Post 1: False Memories

Even before looking through the presentation for this topic, I have always been interested in this topic. Of course everyone has had that argument with a friend or a family member about one small detail from a memory that took place years ago; I’m especially guilty of this. Looking into the idea more only increased my interest in the topic.

So, why do false memories exist? I thought it was interesting when Elizebeth Loftus said that memories are like a Wikipedia page; they could be changed by you but also by anyone else. People think that memories are so perfect, as if they are a recording when in reality they are extremely unreliable. Have you ever been driving and you think you know the way to your destination like thee back of your hand but you end up taking a wrong turn? Obviously this is a more tame example but its crazy how easily our memories can deceive us.

Not only can we deceive ourselves, but other people can influence our memories by saying certain words. When Loftus was giving her TED-talk, she brought up the example of a car crash, asking witnesses how fast the car was going when it “hit” the other, versus when it “crashed into” the other. The witnesses said the car was going faster when it crashed compared to when it hit because of the more powerful wording. Memories were influenced when stronger pr more dramatic wording was used and that is something harder to wrap your head around.

Overall, I enjoyed looking through this presentation and I can’t wait to do more research on it.

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