Misattribution Effect

Misattribution effect is when a memory is distorted because of the source, context, or our imagination.  We may not recall the proper source of the memory but we can recall the memory, so a false memory is created to explain the source.  If the misattribution effect is due to context we may overlap memories or conjoin them because the memories separately are incomplete.  Our imagination can also cause misattribution, because by simply imagining ourselves doing something we become more convinced that it actually happened.  Misattribution occurs when a true aspect of a memory is altered and becomes false.  



Research on Misattribution:

One study on misattribution found that increased perceptual information about an event increases the belief of a memory, even if it was never actually experienced.  

Studies have looked into implanting false memories by convincing participants that they had experienced some kind traumatic event in their childhood.  By combining actual events from the participant's childhood with a false event, the researchers are able to convince the participants that the false event actually occurred.




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