Memory Implantation

Memory implantation is a technique that has been used in cognitive psychological research to show how unreliable memory can be. During experiments researchers successfully implanted benign, or harmless, memories in adults' minds; having been lost at a shopping mall as a child, or visiting a theme park that they had never been to, to show that false "memories" can be introduced or manufactured and that the person holding these memories can be convinced that these things actually happened.

The findings of these studies have been important legally when dealing with "recovered" memories of severe trauma such as sexual molestation or rape to determine whether or not these memories were real or manufactured. Additionally, this research was important in finding the truth when a spate of lawsuits dealing with day care abuse cases were brought and where the children, when repeatedly interviewed, told increasingly unbelievable stories. This has lead to revisions in the ways in which subjects of alleged abuse are interviewed using open-ended questions rather that specific questions.

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