Inception in Real Life: Research on Planting False Memories
In the latest podcast from You Are Not So Smart, David McRaney interviews psychology researcher Julia Shaw. Among other things, they discuss her latest research that demonstrates that it is surprisingly easy to implmant false memories in one’s past.
What’s most interesting is that the memories Shaw and her colleagues implanted are not the ones you think you would forget: they had 70% of their participants believing that they committed a completely fabricated act of assault or theft. This research has interesting implications for law enforcement (e.g, police interrogations), but it’s also a very enlightening demonstration of how human memory works (or doesn’t work).