AICE Psychology: The formation of false memories-Loftus & Pickrell
Terms in this set (10)
Is it possible to implant a false memory? To understand about the revised data
altering a witnessed event
3 males, 21 females of ages 18 to 53.
Most pairs were made up of parents and their child. Some were made up of siblings.
The youngest member of any pair was 18.
All relatives were the older in the pair and they needed to be knowledgeable about the childhood of the subject.
The research method of the study was an experiment with the use of a questionnaire.
The subject's relatives were interviewed to determine events of the subject's childhood between 4-6 years old.
The relatives were asked about the subject's possible shopping trip to the mall at age 5.
The subjects couldn't have had family folkore or traumatic events.
The subjects also couldn't have been lost at a mall at age 5.
The subjects were told they were in a study which focused on childhood memories and why we can remember some and not others.
They were told to read the booklet provided which contained three real memories and one fake one from childhood.
Then they were instructed to write below the events stuff they remembered about them, and if they didn't remember it to write. "I do not remember this."
Then the subjects mailed this booklet back.
1-2 weeks later the subjects were interviewed, then again after another 1-2 weeks. (These interviews were conducted over the phone or at the University by 2 women, who recorded the interview.)
The subjects were asked to recall as many details as possible for the 4 events in the interview.
Then to rate their clarity and content on a scale of 1-10.
Then to rate their confidence they could remember more if time was given on a scale of 1-5.
Then they were debriefed. After the first session debriefing included asking them to think about the memories, but not to discuss them.
After the second session debriefing included apologizing for deception and having them try to guess the false memory.
3 true stories 1 false story
Quantitative data- Remembering percentage, Word length, Clarity Ratings,
About 68% (49 of 72) of the true events (24*3) succeeded in remembering in all
the three phases (booklet, interview 1, interview 2)
From the booklet, 29% (7 of 24 subjects) remembered the false event, but one
declined in the first interview.
About 29% produced full or partial false memory in their initial booklet based on
their mean number of words.
The mean word length for true (138) whereas for false (49.9)
17 subjects continued to maintain that they had no memory of false event during
the first interview
About 75% resisted remembering false event through the second interview
Clarity ratings for false event tended to be lower than for the true events.
Confidence ratings for false event tended to be lower than for the true events
After debriefing, 19 of 24 subjects chose the getting lost memory as the false
Data was collected through interviews of the subject and the subject's relative.
Data was also collected through the booklet the subjects were mailed.
Then through a self-rate scale.
Quantitative data was collected when the subjects were asked to rate their confidence, clarity, and content.
Qualitative data was collected through interviews with the subject and the subject's relative, along with the booklet.
People can be led to believe that entire events happened to them after suggestions
to that effect.
Existence proof for the phenomenon of false memory formation
False memories can be formed, based on the results of the study, although the researchers said that they don't know what percentage of people they can be formed in, but they did conclude that it is possible.
Usefulnesss and Application, Ecologically Valid
There was a high level of control present in this study, as some parts were conducted in a lab, and all of the variables were kept consistent for each participant, leaving little or no room for them to change the results of the study.
The false memory was made believable, that way it could not be easily identified.
Not much control, unrepresentative sample.
The participants could have been recalling other instances in which they'd been lost in a crowded area. Since the false memory is one that is a type of situation that is common in many peoples lives at one point or another, it makes it easily mistaken with other memories that may have actually occurred. Another weakness was the questionnaire that was sent to the participants at home. This allowed them to call people and verify their answers.
The questionnaire that is given allows for the participants to be untruthful for some reason or another, which reduces the validity of the study.
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