Discuss the research on false memories.


Gaps in memory, which are common, may be filled in by logic, guessing, or new information (Schacter, 2012). The result is often the storage of new long-term memories as older memories might be revised or even lost (Baddeley, Eysenck, & Anderson, 2009). What we remember depends on what we pay attention to, what we regard as meaningful or important, how we elaborate our memory, and what we feel strongly about. After reading Chapter 7, consider the concept of false memories.

1.    Define false memories.

2.    Discuss the research on false memories.

3.    After watching the Elizabeth Loftis TedTalks video  how has your opinion of memory changed?


Discuss the research on false memories.


False memories are memories that are not real and have been created by someone. In this article, we will discuss how false memories can be created through brain stimulation or hypnosis and what can happen if they are forgotten.

What is a false memory?

A false memory is a memory that was not originally there. In other words, it’s a story that you believe yourself to be able to recall when in fact you did not experience the event at all.

False memories can come about through brain stimulation or hypnosis. When people are told something over and over again, this triggers their brains’ memories to become stronger and more believable over time (and if they’re told enough often enough). This is why we often think of our own personal experiences as being “true” or “real”: because your brain has been trained by repetition over time into believing them as real things happening around you every day!

  • False memories can come from various sources.

False memories can come from a variety of sources, including:

  • Confabulation is the creation of new memories to fill gaps in ones existing memory. This is usually caused by brain damage or trauma.
  • Hypnosis may also lead to false recollections. In this case, the person will be under hypnosis when they try to remember something that never happened at all (such as seeing someone who wasn’t there).

The most common source of false memories are confabulation.

False memories can be formed in many different ways, but the most common source of false memories are confabulation. Confabulation is the creation of new memories to fill in gaps in ones existing memory. In other words, you may remember an event happening at a certain time or place but don’t remember reading about it on your phone or computer later that day because you were too busy doing something else and forgot until now!

Confabulation can be defined as the creation of new memories to fill in gaps in ones existing memory.

Confabulation can be defined as the creation of new memories to fill in gaps in ones existing memory. In other words, it is the act of creating something that didn’t happen or remembering something that never happened. According to a study by Dr. Elizabeth Loftus and Dr. Mark Rosenbaum, approximately 5% of people reported confabulating events in their lives at some point or another; however, they were able to distinguish between real memories and false memories due to their knowledge about how memories are formed and recalled by humans (Loftus & Ketcham 2002).

There are many different methods of disrupting confabulation, including hypnosis, drugs, and electrical stimulation.

  • Hypnosis is a state of heightened suggestibility. It’s like being in a trance, but not so deep that you’re losing consciousness or unable to think clearly. People who are hypnotized can sometimes be prompted to recall events that never happened in reality (called confabulation).
  • Drugs can also be used to disrupt the mind and memory formation processes. For example, the drug sodium amytal was used during the 1960s to help people remember their sexual experiences after they had been given amnesia pills by doctors at clinics across America—but these “false memories” were later shown to be nothing more than dreams!
  • Electrical stimulation has also been shown to affect memory formation by disrupting brain waves patterns within specific regions of cortexes located within each hemisphere of our brains: left hemisphere controls language functions; right hemisphere controls spatial awareness/memory functions

Studies have shown that brain stimulation can create false memories but they cannot be “recalled” or forgotten once they have been formed.

Studies have shown that brain stimulation can create false memories but they cannot be “recalled” or forgotten once they have been formed.

In one study, participants were asked to remember a time when their mother was absent for an extended period of time. After this period of time had passed, the participants were asked if they remembered those missing moments and if so, where they took place (e.g., at school). The researchers found that more than half of the participants reported having positive memories of these missed events; however, only one third could provide accurate details about what actually happened during these times when their mothers were out of town. Some individuals even reported having negative feelings about missing these experiences due to being left alone without supervision outside of work hours!

False memories can be created through brain stimulation or hypnosis and can even be “remembered” after the original event has passed.

False memories can be created through brain stimulation or hypnosis and can even be “remembered” after the original event has passed.

With this in mind, it’s no surprise that scientists are currently researching ways to create false memories. In fact, a recent study found that people who received electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) at age 13 were more likely to believe they had been abused by their parents when they were children than those who didn’t receive treatment.


False memories are a common occurrence. They can be formed through hypnosis, brain stimulation or drug use. However, this method of creating false memories does not allow them to be forgotten and they can even be recalled after an event has passed as long as they are still present in one’s memory.

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