You did, you read it.
I used cookies to re-target you and you’ve already read it.
You read a lot on the internet so I don’t blame you for scratching your head for a second but if you think about it you’ll remember.
Remember now? Good.
If for a split-second you thought to yourself “ah yes, I do remember this!” — you’re not alone. In fact, it’s incredible how easy it is to plant a false memory in someone’s mind.
Wade et al (2015) created an exceptional experiment to showcase this:
“We exposed 20 subjects to a false childhood event via a fake photograph and imagery instructions. Over three interviews, subjects thought about a photograph showing them on a hot air balloon ride and tried to recall the event by using guided-imagery exercises. Fifty percent of the subjects created complete or partial false memories. The results bear on ways in which false memories can be created and also have practical implications for those involved in clinical and legal settings.”
If you want to play around with this experiment, Photoshop a photo of you and a sibling, as young children, somewhere you never went. Upload it to Instagram or Facebook on Thursday with a “#throwbackthursday, miss you bro/sis” and wait for their response.
If you do it, let me know — I’d love to know the response you get.
It terrified me to think of the potential applications of this (seemingly) gaping flaw in our brains. How could our memories be so fragile?
Yet, if they are, why can’t we use this to help people suffering from PTSD?
You can read the full paper here