One fifth of us fondly recall events that never happened

August 2nd, 2010 - 3:41 pm ICT by ANI  

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London, Aug 2 (ANI): In an astonishing study, psychologists
have discovered that one in five people vividly recalls incidents that they
know did not take place.

They said that many of our most treasured memories might
never have actually happened.

The findings have highlighted the fallibility of memory -
and explain why two people can have varied recollections of the same
conversations and events.

University of Hull researchers asked 1,600 students whether
they had experienced a false memory.

A fifth said they had experienced ‘fictional’ memories,
mostly dating back to when they were four to eight years old, reported the
journal Psychological Science.

“Autobiographical memory provides us with a sense of
identity and it is usually accurate enough to help us negotiate our lives,” the
Daily Mail quoted researcher Giuliana Mazzoni as saying.

“But as our study shows, not all that we remember about our
past is true. Our research also shows that this phenomenon of non-believed
memories is much more frequent than people had imagined.

“Crucially, if these memories are not challenged by some
form of evidence, they would still be considered part of the individual’s
autobiographical experience,” said Mazzoni.

The work has also raised concerns about the way therapists
‘recover’ lost memories of child abuse in adults. (ANI)

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