Constructing Rich False Memories Of Serious Crime Case Study

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Study Response – Constructing Rich False Memories of Committing Crime
1. What did the study seek to explore? In this study, the researchers strived to determine if untrue memories could be created in participants if done in a controlled way. If the researchers were able to do so, they wished to determine how established these memories would be, and how their qualities could compare to similar emotional events and true memories. (Shaw, Porter, 2015) As well, the researchers wished to find out if the participants would accept or reject any accusations of committing crime if this was validated by a loved-one. (Shaw, Porter, 2015) The success of this study would then allow researchers to determine whether or not there are strategies and “tactics”
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The participants who were a part of the criminal condition were told that they had committed a crime resulting in police contact. (Shaw, Porter, 2015) Of these individuals, a third was convinced to have committed assault, another third was convinced that they had committed assault with a weapon, and the rest was told that they had committed theft. Participants who were a part of the non-criminal condition were told that they had experienced a powerful emotional event. As was done for the “criminal” group, a third of this group was told that they had this event when they injured themselves, another third was old that this occurred when they were attacked by a dog, and the remainder was convinced that this powerful emotional event occurred when they lost a large amount of money and gotten in trouble for it by their parents as a result. (Shaw, Porter, …show more content…
Using the definitions of those previous researchers as a guide, the researchers used various objective and subjective criteria in order to determine which participants had generated a false memory. (Shaw, Porter, 2015) The first was that the participant was to indicate that they remembered the suggested event during the final interview by reporting details about it. A second criteria was that the report given by the participant had to include the critical pieces of false information presented by the interviewer upon inquiry such as the location, or who was around when the situation occurred, and that this should occur by the third interview. Third, when told by an interviewer to explain all that occurred in the event from beginning to end, the participant would be required to not only provide a basic account of the false event, but also embellish the story as well, with more unique details than originally provided. A fourth criteria was that the participant should not be able to immediately recall the event as soon as it is presented. Next, the participant was to indicate that he or she had not talked to his or her primary caregivers about any part of the parental memory questionnaire. (Shaw, Porter, 2015) The last criteria was that when being debriefed about the experiment, the participant should agree that they had forgotten the event and that it actually

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