It has been stated that memory is a reconstruction of events rather than it being photographic (Schacter, 2001). False memory is considered to be recollection of events that never occurred. This is also called the distortion of one’s memories. There are some memories that come from dreams in that a person thinks that it was an actual real life experience (Brainerd, 2005). There are some memories that are claimed to be as a result of someone leading them to those memories, prodding and suggestions especially by counsellors and the police officers. There are other times when an event occurs but someone remembers it to be the other way around. A good example is when a person is young and a fight occurs in the house where the mother slaps the father but as years goes by the person believes that it was the father who slapped the mother. An experiment will be conducted in order to explore and find the factors that influence the production false memory.
The methodology used in this experiment is the Roediger-McDermott paradigm. In the experiment, there were six participants who volunteered. All the participants were to complete a recognition test in, which they were supposed to recall a list of words read to them by the experimenter (Roediger & McDermott, 1995, p.807). In the analysis section, the researcher will be able to provide the results of the experiment. The main purpose for this experiment is so that the researcher can be able to find out if people who share a particular event would have distorting memories of what happened.
According to Bartlet, who believes that, the memorial information usually has the combination of both the actual events and an experience that occurred previously. Forgetting is very normal thing when it comes to memory. Bartlet also argues that the human beings are prone to forgot but the only reasons that make them remember events is because of similar experienced earlier (Bartlett, 1932). This is why when an individual is trying to remember something it is always difficult because they might have forgotten or the memory will be mixed up with other events. The reconstruction of memory is a complex subject that has caused many psychologists and psychiatrist to investigate it. This is why some of them to use hypnosis in order to cause an individual to remember.
The experiment will use the Roediger and McDermott paradigm. In this experiment, the participants will recall events that are false or untrue. In these experiments, it requires people to remember a list of things that have been read to them (Roediger & McDermott, 1995, p.810). The results will be analysed using statistical data. The main reason for this is so that the researcher will be able to have the real clue of how true false memory occurs. The recall of the listed words will be done the same day.
Six participants from class will be used in the experiment.
The list consisted of the one that was used in the experiment of Deese’s (1959). There are six targets that are used in Deese experiment that produce the intrusion rates. These six targets are chair, sleep, mountains, sweet, rough and needle (Deese, 1959, p.18). One word was used as a critical issue and 12 corresponding list that are associated with the norms.
The participants for the experiment were tested as group in one of the regular class schedules meetings. In the group, the participants were requested to listen to a list of words and they were to be tested soon after by writing the words down on a booklet. They were instructed to write the last few words fist and then continue the rest of the words. They were also told to write down all the words they could remember and should have come from the list. The lists of the words were read aloud by the researcher to the participants. One word was read per 1.5 seconds (McHugh, 2008). The participants were required to recall the words in the list in the end of the exercise of reading. The participants were given about three minutes to recall the words. All the six list were read out loud and there was a brief conversion that lasted about three minutes. The participants were also introduced to a new tests where they given some words that were on a piece of paper and asked whether those words were on the lists. At the end of the test, the participants were asked to raise their hands if they noticed words that were in the lists. In looking at the number of people, who raised their hands in some of the items that they think that was in the lists. The person doing the experiment will inform the participants of the results of the experiment.
According to the overall results, 83.2 percent were the words on the list written down by the participants. 64.4 percent of the words written were not in the list but were related. Ten percent of the results show that some of the words were not related and not in the list. In looking at the results, it was easy to see that the items recalled all resembled each other or are words that are usually used by people in their daily lives. The results of the experiment can be observed from the table 1 below.
The overall result of the experiment showed that some of the words in the list most of the participants were unable to remember. Some of the words from the list the people were able to remember. Some of the people seem to recall most of the words while there were others who seemed not recall some of the words. In recalling some of the words, the participants seem to recall words that were not in the list (Gallo, 2011). This false memory could be due to the fact that during the experiment they took a three minute break where they chatted with each other. This will cause some of them to forget the words in the list or believe that some of the words used in the conversation during the break were among those in the list. In looking at the result percentage, it is very clear that the rate in, which the number of words that were not in the list and were believed to be in there by the participants was very high at an alarming rate. This is exactly what causes people to fail their examinations. This is because they usually confuse some of the words in that they end writing something different. The students would have read therefore, the problem comes from the memory.
In conclusion, the research experiment was conducted in order for the researcher to be able to see how false memory occurs. In the experiment, there were six participants who were given a list of words and told to write it down after the researcher had read the words. There was a three-minute break and the experiment continued. The result of the experiment indicated that there were people who were able to remember the words in the list but they also wrote down words that were not in the list. This experiment proved that people have false memory and also they forget easily.
Bartlett, F. C. (1932). Remembering: A study in experimental and social psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Brainerd, C. J. (2005). The Science of False Memory. New York: Oxford University Press.
Deese, J. (1959). On the prediction of occurrence of particular verbal intrusions in immediate recall. Journal of Experimental Psychology , 17—22.
Gallo, D. (2011). Associative Illusions of Memory: False Memory Research in DRM and Related Tasks. Psychology Press.
McHugh, P. (2008). Try to remember: Psychiatry's clash over meaning, memory and mind. Dana Press.
Roediger, H. & McDermott, K. (1995). Creating false memories: remembering words not presented in lists. J. of Exp. Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition , 803-814.
Schacter, D. L. (2001). The Sevens Sins of Memory. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.