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1. LOFTUS AND PECKRILL (1995) “THE FORMATIONOF FALSE MEMORIES”Psychiatric Annals 25:12/ December: 720-725 2. MEMORYã Your memory is your mind’s storehouse, the…
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  • 1. LOFTUS AND PECKRILL (1995) “THE FORMATIONOF FALSE MEMORIES”Psychiatric Annals 25:12/ December: 720-725
  • 2. MEMORY• Your memory is your mind’s storehouse, the reservoir of your accumulated learning• The persistence of learning over time through the storage and retrieval of information
  • 3. MEMORY – INFORMATION PROCESSING• Encoding – the processing of information into the memory system• Storage – the retention of encoded information over time• Retrieval – the process of getting information out of memory storage
  • 4. PRO-ACTIVE INTERFERENCE• It occurs when something you learned earlier (the old memory) interferes with your ability to create a new memory• Example: You have been using a certain cell phone for a considerable time period. You are quite habituated with its functions and keys. And now you purchase new one and you initially find difficulty.
  • 5. RETROACTIVE INTERFERENCE• It occurs when new learning or new information interferes with the recall of something you learned earlier (the old memory)• Example: You change your cell number and after some time you have memorized your new number, if you are asked to recall your previous number, you may not be able to recall it easily.
  • 6. METHODOLOGY• SAMPLE: – 3 males and 21 females – Age range: 18 to 53 years – Recruited by University of Washington students – A pair of individuals – a subject and the subject’s relative – Primarily parent-child pair or sibling pair – The relative member of the pair had to be the one who had knowledge about childhood experiences of the subject
  • 7. METHODOLOGY• MATERIAL: – A five-page booklet containing a cover letter with instructions for completing the booklet and schedule of interviews – The booklet contained four short stories about childhood events of the subject provided by the relative – Actually three of the stories were true – One was false about child getting lost – The order of events was always same in all booklets – The false event was presented in the third position – The relative member of the pair had to be the one who had knowledge about childhood experiences of the subject – Each event was presented in a single paragraph – Remaining page was left blank for the subject to reproduce his memory
  • 8. METHODOLOGY• EXAMPLE OF A FALSE EVENT: (for a 20-year old Vietnamese American woman who grew up in Washington) “You, your mom, Tien and Tuan all went to the Bremerton K-Mart. You must have been five years old at the time. Your mom gave each of you some money to get a blueberry Icee. You ran ahead to get into the line first, and somehow lost your way in the store. Tien find you crying to an elderly Chinese woman. You three then went together to get an Icee.”
  • 9. METHODOLOGY• PROCEDURE: – Interviews with the relative – to obtain three events that happened to the subjects between 4 to 6 years of age – The stories were not to be family folklore or traumatic events – Also information about a plausible shopping trip to a mall or large departmental store was obtained • Where the family would have shopped when the subject was five years old. • Which members of the family usually went along on a shopping trip • What kinds of stores might have attracted the subject’s interests • Verification that the subject had not been lost in a mall around age of five
  • 10. METHODOLOGY• PROCEDURE: – Using the information false event was created that had following features: • Lost for an extended period • Crying • Lost in a mall or large department store at about age of 5 • Found and aided by an elderly woman • Reunited with the family.
  • 11. METHODOLOGY• PROCEDURE: – Ss were told that the study is about childhood memories and how and why people some things and not others. (DECEPTION) – They were told to read the events in booklets – And write what they remembered about each event. – If event not remembered, they write “I do not remember this”. – After completing the booklet, mailed back to the researchers
  • 12. METHODOLOGY• PROCEDURE: – Ss were called and scheduled for two interviews – If convenient, interview would take place at university, otherwise over telephone – First interview - one or two weeks after receipt of booklet – Second interview – one or two weeks after first interview – Interviewers were 2 females
  • 13. METHODOLOGY• PROCEDURE: – In 1st interview, Ss were reminded of each event and asked to recall as much as they could. – Later, Ss rated their memory for the event on a scale of 1 to 10. – 1=not clear at all , and 10=extremely clear – Ss then rated the confidence on 5-point scale that if given more time to think, they would be able to recall more details – 1=not confident, and 5=extremely confident
  • 14. METHODOLOGY• PROCEDURE: – After 1st interview, Ss were not to discuss events with relatives – Ss were told to try to remember more details for the next interview – 2nd interview was as same as 1st interview, Ss recalled events, and rated on clarity and confidence scales. – Ss were debriefed in the end and were asked to choose which of the four events was false – Apologies for the deception and explanation why it was necessary
  • 15. RESULTS• Memory for true events: – In total, there were 72 true events – 49 out of 72 (68%) were remembered in booklet – This percentage held constant in 1st and 2nd interview
  • 16. RESULTS• Memory for false events: – Total 24 false events – 7 out of 24 (29%) were remembered, either fully or partially in booklet – Partial memories mean remembering parts of event + speculations about how and when it happened – During 1st interview, one subject claimed she did not remember this, dropping the number from 7 to 6 (25%) of the events were remembered fully or partially. – In 2nd interview, the percentage held constant
  • 17. RESULTS• Number of words used to describe memories: – The mean word length of descriptions of true memories was 138.0 – The mean word length of descriptions of false memories was 49.9 – these findings are based on the descriptions of 7(29%) of the subjects who produced partial or full memories of false events in their booklets
  • 18. RESULTS• Clarity ratings for events: – The clarity ratings for the false events were tended to be lower – The mean clarity rating for the true events was 6.3 in both 1st and 2nd interview – The mean clarity rating for the false events was 2.8 in 1st interview and 3.6 in 2nd interview
  • 19. RESULTS• Confidence ratings: – Confidence ratings were lower for false events. – For true events, rating in 1st interview was 2.7 and in 2nd interview it was 2.2 – For false events, it was 1.8 in 1st interview and 1.4 in 2nd interview.
  • 20. RESULTS• When asked to choose false event after debriefing: – 19 subjects correctly identified the false event as getting-lost memory.
  • 21. CONCLUSION• These findings reveal that people can be led to believe that entire events happen to them after suggestions to that effect. These findings provide an “existence proof” for the phenomenon of false memory information.• Memory can be altered via suggestion.• People can be led to remember their past in different ways and they can even be led to remember entire events that actually did not happen to them
  • 22. More Planted Memories•20% recall for overnight hospitalization for ahigh fever with a possible ear infection(Hyman)•25% recall for attending a wedding receptionand accidently spilling a punch bowl on theparents of the bride (Hyman)•26% complete recall and 30% partial recall forserious animal attack (UBC)•37% recall for rescued by lifeguard (Tenn:Heaps & Nash)
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