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False Memories

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Submitted By dylansnana
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PS530-01: Cognitive Psychology

Professor: John Burke

Kaplan University

Sandra Exum

False memories are thoughts about things that are from the past, but the perceiver thinks they are valid memories of personal experiences, but that actually are made from the perceiver’s imagination or from the suggestion of others (DeWolfe, 2013). There are many cases where a child will be sexually abused, and not recall it until they are older possibly even when they are an adult. It is possible to implant memories into a child’s mind to the point that they will really think that they were abused as a child (Loftus, 2003). An adult should know better than to try to implant memories of this type into a child’s mind. Memories of a happy experience will be retained longer, whereas an unhappy experience is more easily dismissed from a person’s memory. Nearly all human beings want to recall happy memories, rather than bad ones. False memories may happen accidentally or through unintentional and or intentional coaching, this is called influence, and this influence can come from opinions from authority figures, trusted family members, and even cultural beliefs. In a situation like this it is known as the interference theory, which suggests that forgetting is caused by other memories interfering with the retention of the target memory (Anderson, 2010).

For example a husband and wife have three kid’s two girls and one boy, and they end up going through a divorce. The husband gets the little boy, and the wife gets the two girls, the wife gets a boyfriend and they move to another state, at this time the girls are ages two and three years old. The wife knows that her boyfriend is molesting her girls, and she does nothing about it for the fear that he will leave her. The three year old is really pretty with blonde

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