Confusion of an event that happened to someone else with one that happened to you
Belief that you remember something when it never actually happened
False memories can be as stable over time as true ones
Which is most likely to be a flashbulb memory?
Memory of a natural disaster that happened in your lifetime.
Suppose two cars collided, which implies that one was speeding?
Where were you when the cars smashed into one another?
Where were you when the accident occurred?
Which of these could be a leading question?
Did you see the broken headlight?
Did you see a broken headlight?
Which question may be best to start an interview with a child if there is a suspicion of
Tell me why you are here to talk to me today
Which is an example of explicit memory?
Recalling that Skinner was a founder of Behaviourism
Which is an example of implicit memory?
Getting on a bike and being able to ride.
Conditions of confabulation
Confabulation is most likely when:
You have thought, heard, or told others about the imagined event often (imagination
The image of the event contains lots of details that make it feel real
The event is easy to imagine A Case of Confabulation
Airplane crashed in the Netherlands
Hit a major city
There was no video/photos
About 66% of people surveyed a year later "remember seeing the crash on the news"
Easy to imagine because they have seen other crashes
President Bush Confabulates 9/11
President Bush "recalled" seeing the first plane hit while in his limo
Can't have was in class 10 minutes prior to 10 min after
Conspiracy theorists say this "proves" huge conspiracy 9/11
What this proves is that even the president is subject to the problem of confabulation
Memory and Suggestion
Eyewitness testimony is important, but not always reliable…
E.g., case of Thomas Sophonow
Twice convicted on eyewitness testimony in the 1980's
Acquitted because of DNA evidence in 2000
Factors that influence eyewitness accuracy:
Cross-race identification, the wording of questions, leading questions, misinformation,
Can children be accurate eyewitness?
Yes, but influenced by same factors as adults, especially repeated and suggestive
May lead them to say and come to recall events that never happened
E.g., Canadian case in Martensville, Saskatchewan 1992 Example of Leading Question in Child Molestation Investigation
Child may be asked in such a way that assumes a "yes" answer
e.g. "show me where he touched you" vs "did he touch you"
Child may be told OTHER children said it happened;