Cognitive Psychology; Critical Report on Abducted by Ufo: Prevalence Information Affects Young Childrens False Memories for an Implausible Event

Topics: Internal validity, Validity, Ecological validity Pages: 4 (1443 words) Published: January 10, 2013
Assessment 1: Critical Review

1. Otgaar and colleagues looked at whether Prevalence information changes memory in any form when focusing on implausible events. The aim of the investigation was to see if children between the ages of 7-8 and 11-12 could create false memories when asked to recall an implausible or plausible event. The second aim also focused on whether the level of false memory recalled when levels of prevalence has been changed which was controlled by having a condition with no prevalence. Henry Otgaar himself says “Hence, my main research interest lies in the identification of mechanisms that contribute to the development of memory illusions” 1

2. The first stage involves making the individual believe that the specific event is plausible thus more believable. If the event is implausible it can be made plausible by combining with false evidence. This evidence is presented to the individual in order to increase the likelihood of the event occurring thus making it more acceptable and reliable. The second stage is to aid the participant into believing they could have experienced this event in their past. Lastly the final is stage where the participant actually produces a false memory of the event. This is because the actual thoughts were confused for memories instead of fantasies. Evidence for the two stages can be seen as the study says “Exposing people to a set of articles that describe a relatively implausible phenomenon, like witnessing possession, made people believe that the phenomenon is more plausible, and also made them less confident that they had not experienced the event in childhood....with effect sizes ranging as high as 2.42 standard deviations.”2Evidence shows that implausible events can be made believable and that there is an increase in perceived likelihood of an event occurring if the participant is provided with a credible source however it must be highlighted that only two of the three stages were supported in this...
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