Imagination can create false autobiographical memories

G. Mazzoni, Amina Memon

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    176 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Previous studies have shown that imagining an event can alter autobiographical beliefs. The current study examined whether it can also create false memories. One group of participants imagined a relatively, frequent event and received information about an event that never occurs. A second group imagined the nonoccurring event and received information about the frequent event. One week before and again 1 week immediately after the manipulation, participants rated the likelihood that they had experienced each of the two critical events and a series of noncritical events, using the Life Events Inventory. During the last phase, participants were also asked to describe any memories they had for the events. For both events, imagination increased the number of memories reported, as well as beliefs about experiencing the event. These results indicate that imagination can induce false autobiographical memories.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)186-188
    Number of pages2
    JournalPsychological Science
    Volume14
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2003

    Keywords

    • INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES
    • DREAM INTERPRETATION
    • CHILDHOOD MEMORIES
    • INFLATION
    • ARTIFACT
    • IMAGERY
    • BELIEFS

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