Research on eyewitness testimony has shown that false details put forth during an interrogation can lead some people to develop vivid memories of events that never happened. While this “false memory” phenomenon is alive and well, new research suggests that a bit of misinformation also has potential to improve our memories of past events — at least under certain circumstances.
“In situations where the original event was pretty well remembered, a later attempt to provide misinformation can actually boomerang and make details of the original scene even more memorable”, added Roediger, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor in Arts & Sciences. (1)
Memory is a weird thing.
You can remember things that happened.
But you can also remember thing that didn’t.
The article claims that a seemingly irrelevant event can trigger a true sleeping memory. But on the other hand, how can you be certain that this is a memory of something that happened in the first place?
Every time we remember, we remember something we did not remember before we remember it. Every time something pops up into our thought about something in the past, we are always inclined to accept it and yet there is no way to know or prove that this is true – except by probing on our own… memory.
Verifying what we remember by… remembering.
Living in a world we know, based on… what we know.
Look the moon in the mirror.
Turn back to see.
It is not there.
It never was.
Do you remember?
Do you believe yourself?