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    Emily Dickinson, posted by Daniel

David Baxter

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Sep 24, 2013 Psychologist Elizabeth Loftus studies memories. More precisely, she studies false memories, when people either remember things that didn't happen or remember them differently from the way they really were. It's more common than you might think, and Loftus shares some startling stories and statistics, and raises some important ethical questions we should all remember to consider.


Elizabeth Loftus altered the course of legal history by revealing that memory is not only unreliable, but also mutable. Since the 1970s, Loftus has created an impressive body of scholarly work and has appeared as an expert witness in hundreds of courtrooms, bolstering the cases of defendants facing criminal charges based on eyewitness testimony, and debunking “recovered memory” theories popular at the time, as in her book The Myth of Repressed Memory: False Memories and Allegations of Sexual Abuse (with Katherine Ketcham).

Since then, Loftus has dedicated herself to discovering how false memories can affect our daily lives, leading her to surprising therapeutic applications for memory modification — including controlling obesity by implanting patients with preferences for healthy foods.”
 

Daniel

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When an event is recalled a number of times in succession, the details tend to become more consistent with one’s belief about the event...

Research has demonstrated that something imagined in the context of a particular memory is sometimes later “remembered” as having actually happened. As result of this imagination inflation, the “memory” may carry with it all the corresponding emotional and physical reactions that would occur were the memory accurate.
 
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Daniel

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"By raising participants' awareness of the possibility of false memories, urging them to critically reflect on their recollections and strengthening their trust in their own perspective, we were able to significantly reduce their false memories. Moreover, and importantly, this did not affect their ability to remember true events."
 

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