False memories maybe defined as either remembering events that never happened or remembering them quite differently from the way they happened. There are many factors that can influence false memories like misinformation and misattributing the original source of the information. Also existing memories often interfere with the information of a new memory causing the recollection of an event to be mistaken or entirely false. This knowledge that we cannot completely rely on our memory had led to many questions of the validity of many criminal convictions that were primarily based on the testimonies of the victims or witnesses. The primary reason for an increasing interest in false memory recall and recognition is due to the increasing number of cases in which memories of previously unrecognized abuse that is reported during the course of therapy. Some psychiatrists use therapeutic techniques such as you don't have any memory of sexual abuse, but u are exhibiting symptoms so let us imagine that u may have had had an instance of sexual abuse' this may cause patients to develop false memories causing a lot of damage to the patients themselves and also to the accused Loftus (2003).
Also when memories of witnesses and victims may be inaccurate or false even though they believe it to be true, it has implications for the legal system and for counsel victims of various crimes. Witnesses can develop false memories for many reasons. One key reason is because they pick up information from different sources and combine small bits of memory from different experiences.
Though the concept of false memories has recently gained popularity, psychologists have been studying this concept in laboratory settings for years. Barlett (1932) was one of the first to come up with the idea of false memories. His studies bought to light the distinction between reproductive and reconstructive memory. Reproductive memory refers to the accurate production of material from memory, whereas, reconstructive memory is the active process of filling in the missing elements while remembering. This reproductive and reconstructive memory is mainly because of the various schemas that we develop over time. A schema is a cognitive framework that help in organization and interpretation of information, they allow us to take shortcuts in interpreting vast amounts of information that is available in our in our environment. However, these schemas may cause us to exclude important information and instead focus only on things that confirm our beliefs and ideas and also lead to the creation of false memories. Barlett's study shed light on how reconstructive memory was responsible for the occurrence of false memories and instances of false recall in reproductive memory were far less.
[...] The slides were presented one word at a time. The 6 word lists chosen were based on the experiment conducted by Roediger and Mc Dermott (1995) who constructed them using the North American norms. The word lists have been shown in Appendix 1. The Stimulus in the recall stage was the slides that were presented to the participants. Each slide was shown to the participant for a period of 0.3 s with a 0.1 s break between each word and a free recall period of 1.45 minutes after each list. [...]
[...] They found that the non-presented words were recalled at almost the same level as the words that were actually presented in the middle of the lists. They found that this high rate of intrusion was not because the participants guessing wildly. Other intrusions occurred at a very low rate. Also, their extension of Deese's results to their recognition test and from that they concluded that critical non-presented words were called old at almost the same level as the presented words. Also, the false recognition rate for critical non-presented words were much higher than for the words that were related but not presented in any list. [...]
[...] For instance in list the words that were presented were sandwich, toast, etc., the intrusion word that was most commonly recalled was bread. In another instance for list the words presented were nurse, hospital, etc., the intrusion word recalled was doctor. This shows that participants were more inclined to recall related words rather than unrelated words. The results of the experiment in the recall stage are similar to Roediger and McDermott's experiment. In the recognition stage, the data analyzed showed that the participants were clearly able to identify true old words at a much higher rate than related new words. [...]
[...] The experiment was conducted in two stages. The first stage was the recall stage and the second stage was the recognition stage. In the recall stage, there is no independent variable for this experiment as there was no manipulation of the stimuli. There were three dependent variables at this stage, number of correct words recalled per list, number of recall intrusion words per list and type of recall intrusion words. The dependent variables are ratio variables as they have an absolute zero. [...]
[...] Also when memories of witnesses and victims may be inaccurate or false even though they believe it to be true, it has implications for the legal system and for counsel victims of various crimes. Witnesses can develop false memories for many reasons. One key reason is because they pick up information from different sources and combine small bits of memory from different experiences. Though the concept of false memories has recently gained popularity, psychologists have been studying this concept in laboratory settings for years. Barlett (1932) was one of the first to come up with the idea of false memories. His studies bought to light the distinction between reproductive and reconstructive memory. [...]
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