False Memory Formation

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,
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When referring to emotions as a factor, it can be defined as the feelings that someone experiences during an event. Emotionally charged events can cause great distress on a person’s memory (Kaplan.) Experiencing strong emotions may make an experience more memorable but it can also lead to the formation of untrustworthy or mistaken memories. Negative emotions are more likely to lead to the formation of these false memories (Kaplan.) False memories also occur more frequently when in a period of high arousal than when in a period of low arousal (Kaplan.) The memories that are formed during state of high emotion or during a highly emotional event often seem very vivid in one’s mind but are often found to be highly inaccurate. The influence of emotion on false memories has become a great concern in the legal setting, where eyewitness testimony is often used to aid in a criminal trial. Eyewitness testimony is often found to be inaccurate or to have parts of it that …show more content…
Misattribution is defined as the process by which people use information to make inferences about the causes of behavior or events (Goldstein.) This occurs when someone mixes the details of one story with the details of another story. The combined elements of the different events are made into one cohesive story instead of two (Schacter.) This often occurs when someone recalls his or her childhood memories. Often time these recollections of childhood events are imagined, but because we remember what seems to be specific details of the memory they seem relatively accurate

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