False memories: why not all that we remember was actually

Ложные воспоминания: почему не все, что мы помним, было на самом деле

Is it true that you remember? We used to think that the memory is arranged as a book. When we remember that we’re opening our memory on the correct page and read the text. We tend to think that the village memory may fade, get lost, and something we ourselves want to rip from the book with scraps to forget.

However, modern studies have shown that memory is not a book, memories are not static, they can change from time to time, updated with new details and fantasies. How to understand where reality and fiction, read the material m24.ru.

Was there a Santa Claus

I remember that as a child before the New year came to me father frost and the snow maiden. Parents are first invited them, wanted to make an unusual gift. But I was afraid a staff of Santa Claus started crying and ruined everything – it tells me my older sister Lena. We have a age difference of nearly 10 years.

– Lena, it wasn’t – I kill my sister. – It came to me, Santa Claus, and I was scared of him. Even the photos are on the children’s album, as I’m sobbing on his knees. You were 15 years old, you could scare them myself.

Ложные воспоминания: почему не все, что мы помним, было на самом деле

Photo: TASS/Ivan Gushchin

We argue, who was the hero of the story and decide that it was me. Make sure the pictures helped. The facts will not argue.

Why is there confusion? Because my sister is a big age difference, and at first glance it is difficult to confuse, who came to Santa Claus.

Memory researchers say that the distortion of memories happen all the time. Every time we remember and celebrate family history, we would live them again and at this point can accidentally usurp the memories that had happened to us.

The sins of our memory

Psychologists say that memories are volatile, they can be distorted or disappearing.

“Our memories to some extent are false, because every act of memory includes the processes of imagination and reconstruction,” writes in his research, Professor of psychology at Lomonosov Moscow state University Veronica Surkova.

The American psychologist Daniel Schecter 15 years ago in the article with a loud name “the Seven sins of memory,” described the backlog in psychology claims to the shortcomings of memory. We list the main ones.

Ложные воспоминания: почему не все, что мы помним, было на самом деле

Photo: м24.ги/Юлия Ivanko

First, people don’t remember much of what then could be useful to them and forget what you already know.Secondly, they are often unable in the moment to remember something and forget something unnecessary, to get rid of haunting memories.Thirdly, we forget sources of information.Fourth, our memories is an alloy, where the confused events of the past and what we think about these events now.Fifth, our memories are sketchy and scanty in detail.

How many rebels

In modern science one of the principal investigators of memory, American psychologist Elizabeth Loftus. In the experiments it is proved that leading questions of the examiner can influence the memories of the subjects.

She conducted an experiment in which 40 subjects were shown a video where eight students-the rebels looted the University audience. After watching the video, subjects were divided into two groups. The first group was asked: “was the leader of the four rebels who burst into the audience, man?”. The question for the second group was: “whether the leader of the 12 rebels who burst into the audience, man?”.

Ложные воспоминания: почему не все, что мы помним, было на самом деле

Photo: TASS/Zuma Calvelo

A week later the subjects were again interviewed. Scientists have found that in the group where navodayam question questionnaire dealt with the rebels four people said that they saw an average of 6.4 rebel on video. In the group with a suggestive question about the 12 rebels, the subjects were, on average, saw 8,85 rebel. Recall that just eight.

So, scientists have shown that leading questions and the testimony of other eyewitnesses can distort our memories.

Lost in the store

In addition, Loftus has shown that memory can not only change with the help of leading questions, but generally in the human mind can easily plant false memories.

The first experiment on this subject was held in 1995. The subjects were told the stories as if it happened to them in early childhood, and then asked them to share the details of these memories.

Ложные воспоминания: почему не все, что мы помним, было на самом деле

Photo: м24.ги/Юлия Ivanko

The participants believed that the information is accurate and received by psychologists from members of their families, when in fact it was a “pseudo-events”, which never had happened.

In the study, about 25 percent of the subjects failed to convince, partly or completely, at the age of 5-6 years, they are permanently lost in a big supermarket, was very scared and, in the end, saved someone from adults and returned to parents. Moreover, many of the subjects then supplemented the “memories” colorful details. The phenomenon was named, “lost in store”.

Believe in the good

Psychologists are so inspired by the experiments of Loftus on implementation of false memories that then they began to repeat these studies over and over again. What is not only trying to convince people.

For example, that in childhood the subjects were hospitalized during a family holiday, or that they almost drowned in the lake and rescuers had pulled out of the water, or that they were attacked by a rabid animal and is bitten by them, or that they personally met bugs Bunny at Disneyland (which could not be, as it is a character from Warner Brothers).

Studies have shown that, on average, every third (30 percent) appropriates false memories, begins to believe in them, and even complement them fictional details and emotional relationship.

Ложные воспоминания: почему не все, что мы помним, было на самом деле

Photo: м24.ги/Александр Avilov

The experiments also showed that we tend to assign positive false memories than negative. That person is a child flying with my parents on a hot air balloon, believe 50 percent of the subjects. That in childhood they were unpleasant rectal exam with enema, failed to convince many.

Here I remember, here I do not remember

Scientists have found that in a stressful situation, memory fails. For example, witnesses of crimes generally may not remember, looked like a criminal, what he was wearing, where it ran. But I remember clearly some small and unexpected detail, for example, the brand of gun that shot a criminal. The phenomenon was named “focus on weapon”.

Detected memory errors called into question the reliability of testimony in criminal investigations.

Whole life before my eyes

As the researchers note, we need to focus in life, to make the right decisions and adapt well to circumstances. That is why we remember better what we use in our daily lives and forget that we didn’t need, for example, the school curriculum in algebra.

In a stressful situation, many people say they remember they have a “whole life flashed before my eyes”.

MSU Professor Veronica Nurkova in the scientific article “the Problem of inaccuracy of memories in the long term multi-component memory model” explains this phenomenon by the fact that in a situation of threat of life of our memory does not know what information we need to survive. Therefore, the memory loads in our consciousness from a series of vitally important events that had happened to us from long-term memory. This is necessary, so we can rely on his experience to sort out the situation, make the right decision and save his life.

We perekryvaet your memory

It turns out an interesting pattern. On the one hand, memory affects our lives, we make decisions based on it and our view of ourselves depends on our memories. On the other hand, memory is determined by the present, not the past. All that we remember, depends on what happens to us now.

Ложные воспоминания: почему не все, что мы помним, было на самом деле

Photo: м24.ги/Александр Avilov

“The human memory is not just a collection of everything that happened to him throughout life, it is something more: memories is still what people thought he said what he believed, says Elizabeth Loftus. Our essence is defined by our memory, but our memory defines what we are and what inclined to believe. The impression that we pereceive your memory and become the embodiment of their own fantasies.”

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