False Memory Essay

1983 Words 8 Pages
The world of psychology has been interested in the fallacies of the human mind for decades now. These distortions of the mind can have both major and minor impacts on an individual’s life and those around them. False memory has become a well-researched area in psychology where a large amount of information has been discovered, but there are still a lot of unanswered questions regarding why and how false memories occur in the human population. There are a number of factors that influence the formation of false memories, such as inaccurate perception, inference, emotions, misinformation, misattribution, and fuzzy tracing.
Many people consider their memory to be an accurate and efficient way of storing and documenting past and current events, but researchers have determined that it may not be as reliable as it was once thought to be. Researchers in psychology have defined these fallacies of the human mind as false memories. A false memory is an apparent recollection of an event that did not actually occur (Goldstein.) These mistakes made by the human mind can have both minor and major
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Perception is defined as a single unified awareness derived from sensory processes while a stimulus is present (Goldstein.) Inaccurate perception occurs when the information that is being perceived by the mind is not encoded correctly. This leads to errors in the recollection of what was actually seen. An example of this is when a person sees an accident occur but does not have a clear view of the scene (Schacter.) This makes recalling the actual event to be quite challenging, since they may not have witnessed all of the details. Because of this the human mind will fill in the missing pieces of the event (Schacter.) The result of this is the formation of false memories, in which a person believes their perception of what occurred is accurate but are unaware that their mind may have altered it

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