Subject: “I remember the two cops. There were two. I know that for sure… I have a feeling, like, one was white, and one maybe Hispanic… I remember getting in trouble. And I had to like, tell them what I did. And why I did it, and where it happened…”
Interviewer: “You remember yelling?”
Subject: “I feel like she called me a slut. And I got ticked off and threw a rock at her. And the reason why I threw a rock at her was because I couldn’t get close to her…”
Interviewer: “So you threw a rock instead?”
Subject: “That was bad. That was bad. Bad scene… Oh wow, that’s crazy.”
The person being interviewed is confessing on videotape to a serious crime – throwing a rock so hard at a girl’s head that it left her bleeding and unconscious.
But the assault in this story never happened. The interviewee was the unknowing subject of an experiment showing that innocent people can be led to falsely remember having committed crimes as severe as assault with a weapon.
We think of memories as perfect little moments captured in time, forever locked in our minds, giving us a look at some real period in history. Julia Shaw, a criminal psychologist who specializes in the science of memory, will say that “all memories are essentially false”!
She says, “They’re either a little bit false, or entirely false. There are entire experiences that never happened.”
In other words, when you think about something that happened to you as a kid, it’s most likely false. Now don’t get this wrong, what you remember happening, in its fundamental nature happened. However, the memory is so distorted that the reality you see inside your mind is nothing like the reality when that thing really happened. However, some people may even have ENTIRELY false memories they think that happened.
“A memory is a network of brain cells,” Julia explained. That network, which stretches across different regions of the brain, is constantly being updated. It’s an important function that allows us humans to learn new things and to problem-solve, among other skills. But as a result, it “can be manipulated,” she continued. “Each time you tell a story, you change the memory,” maybe dropping in new details, weaving in tidbits you really heard from somebody else, or forging new, and possibly inaccurate or misleading, connections.
That’s why, most of the time we end up with a different story than what our friends remember happening. Both, us and our friends, have distorted the reality just a little bit.
To implant a false memory, “you try to get someone to confuse their imagination with their memory,” Julia said. “That’s it: Get them to repeatedly picture it happening.”
There is a method called “Deese–Roediger–McDermott paradigm” which works something like this:
I’ll tell you a list of 10 words which you’ll need to remember and tell them back to me. The words can be something like these: nurse, sick, lawyer, medicine, dentist, physician, ill, patient, clinic and cure.
NOW, before you tell them back you’ll need to count from 100 to 0 subtracting 7, for example: 100, 93, 86, 79, 72, 65, 58, 51…
So now, when you tell them back you can do it in any order you like.
The chance is you’ll think the word doctor was inside the list. That’s false. That’s what psychologists call the ‘lure word’.
You think ‘doctor’ was there because all the words in the list associate with the word ‘doctor’. Memory is association and all the words inside the list are associated with themselves, as well as with the word ‘doctor’. So trying to remember them, most likely you will implant a false memory inside your mind and you’ll think you’ve heard me saying the word ‘doctor’ to you.
Knowing this, we can only imagine how corporate media, marketing propaganda and politicians could very effectively brainwash the entire world.