South-central Kentucky Community and Technical College
The studies described in this article investigates whether people can be fed false memories, or believe false information, into believing that (for example) they were once lost in a shopping mall at a point in their life.
Lost In The Mall: Misrepresentations and Misunderstandings
The experiments described in this article investigates several explanations for how people are able to believe something that has never happened to them. Such as, getting lost in a mall, spilling punch at a wedding, or simply small things like confusing a stop sign for a yield sign.
The authors were seeking to discover what would happen if people were fed false information and false memories. Would they believe that the false memories they were told were true? Could they create false memories? Their goal, was to see if they could make anyone believe a traumatic event that “apparently” occurred when they were a little kid at the age of five.
The research method used in this study was an experiment. They took 24 participants for this study and told them they were being a part of a study of childhood memories. They gave all 24 participants four short stories that were apparently given to them by family members. Three of the stories were true and one was fake. In this study they made the fake story about getting lost in a shopping mall at the age of 5. The participants were asked to report as many facts as they could about all of the events. The participants were told to remember as much as they could about each event and were told to be honest if they did not remember.
Around 25% of the participants were actually able to remember the false event, although their memory was not too clear about it. Their...