False Memory Syndrome

By | July 6, 2006

False Memory Syndrome

“It seems that our memories are less than trustworthy, and Dutch experimental psychologist Elke Geraerts knows some impressive tricks of the trade for proving this: “We did an experiment with children, showing them pictures from when they were four years old. Some were true pictures but there were also fakes, doctored to show the child in a hot air balloon. And it was very easy [for the children] to get a false memory of being in this balloon.” If a computer-manipulated image is all it takes to make children remember a hot air balloon trip that never happened, can verbal cues, or suggestions, lead to the “recovery” of traumatic false memories, such as ones of childhood abuse? Experimental psychologist Dr Geraerts, from the University of Maastricht, certainly thinks so, as her recent research suggests.” – rnblog

Facinating. Listen to this NPR story. This could explain people’s recall under hypnosis of alien abductions. Anyway, based on this knowledge, a new approach to mental health might be to re-create an amazing positive healthy past based on a person’s real life. Why not use our memory defect for positive results? To get healthy, the person would work with a memory therapist (creative writer / psychologist) and with friends and family to write a book, the person’s corrected life story. Great idea for a movie.

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