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Annotated Bibliography
Howe, Mark L., Ingrid Candel, Henry Otgaar, Catherine Malone, and Marina C. Wimmer.
"Valence and the Development of Immediate and Long-term False Memory
Illusions." Memory 18.1 (2010): 58-75. Academic Search Premier. Web. 14 Nov.
2016.
This article is about an experience performed on children and adults. Five
different experiments were performed on both children and adults testing how both true
and false memory. These experiments were divided into two different parts, the first part
was False Memory and Illusions and Valence and the second part was The Persistence of
False Memory Illusions and Valence. They wanted to prove that a false memory could be
developed, meaning an outside source can make someone think they experienced
something that had never really happened to them. They argue that false-memory can
most often be linked to emotional or tragic events in life. One of the key findings of the
experiments was the false memory of both the children and adults either stayed the same
throughout all of the experiments or increased. They found that both the children and
adults memory could be more strongly manipulated when a negative situation was
introduced to them.
I will use this article to help me explain and backup my argument that memory
can be manipulated and how this can be lead to negative outcomes. I think using an
article based on an experiment will be really beneficial to my arguments. I will
specifically be incorporating the sentence in the opening of the experiment where they
say we might falsely remember details that we did not in fact encounter.(58) This
experiment talks about false memory syndrome, which I think could help my argument

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that memories can not only be distorted but an outside presence can change what you
remember and how you remember as well as creating memories that one was never
experienced.
Brown, Alan S., Kathryn Croft Caderao, Lindy M. Fields, and Elizabeth J. Marsh.
"Borrowing Personal Memories." Applied Cognitive Psychology 29.3 (2015):
471-77. Academic Search Premier. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.
This article is about a study on college-aged students explaining how people tend
to borrow experiences that they may have overheard or even just a friends story when
answering surveys. This experiment was done over the course of a week on people from
18-40 years old some of these participants were college students and the others were just
members of the community. They found that when someone borrows a story is, in most
cases, intentional and that most people tend to lie in everyday conversations. They found
that many of the participants did in fact story borrow when participating in the group
discussion. After their group discussion the participants were asked if they had ever
borrowed stories or details from others, if the had ever completely stolen a story, if they
had ever been unaware that they were telling someone elses story as if it were their own,
be unsure if a something had happened to them or someone else, and whether or not they
had ever argued with something that a situation did or didnt happen to them.
This article will help support argument I make because it explains how people are
be completely unaware they are telling someone elses story as if it were their own or be
completely aware that they are explaining a situation that never happened to them as if it
did happen to them. I think people who are aware they are telling someone elses story as
if it were their own can be dangerous because they can completely lie to someone and not

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care. The borrowed memories ties into the illusion of memory because we can sometimes
be unaware that we are sharing a story we think is ours but in fact the was just something
we overheard.
How Reliable Is Your Memory. Perf. Psychologist Elizabeth Loftus. YouTube. YouTube,
23 Sept. 2013. Web. 21 Nov. 2016.
https://youtu.be/PB2OegI6wvI
This video is a TEDTalk about how illusion of memory can be dangerous.
Elizabeth Loftus is a psychologist who studies memory. She explained that she is more
focused on studying false memory because there have been many innocent people that
have been convicted of crimes that they have never committed. Loftus explains how one
can chose a potential criminal just because they are a close match to the person who
actually committed the crime. Loftus looks into many cases involving false memory. She
also explains that memories can be planted into people causing them to believe an
incident happened to them when in fact that incident never happened to them.
I think this video can help support my argument that the illusion of memory or
false memory can be dangerous. I will be using the first example where she explains the
case of an innocent man being accused of a crime he never committed and how that
negatively affected his life that it led to his death. I will also be using this video and tie it
into the previous article on how a memory can not only be distorted but it can also be
planted into someone's memory. I will further explain and elaborate when Loftus says
that true memory and false memory can be hard to identify at times because those
recalling the memory can be confident in what they are saying really did happen to them.

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False Memory
In The Invisible Gorilla by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons, the illusion of
memory is described to us as the disconnect between how we think memory works and
how it actually works. Our memory is a very delicate thing that can sometimes be
distorted. Not only can someone change what we remember, but they can also be planted.
When a memory is planted it means that someone can give you details about an incident,
and make you believe that you actually experienced this. Our memory cannot only be a
danger to us but it can also be a dangerous to others as well. One of the biggest affects
our memory can have on the life of another person is that we can put a person in jail for a
crime that they never committed. Our memory is such a delicate part of us. When people
witness traumatic events they are more likely to want to be able to recall as much detail a
possible, but people tend to forget that our memory of an event cannot just be played
back like a video. Shockingly we only remember the things we think would be normal for
whatever traumatic event we might have experience just because we have maybe seen
picture or movies of similar events. This can also be tied to false imprisonment. We have
an idea in our heads of what the stereotypical criminal looks like. So when having one is
asked to identify a suspect from a group of people, one is more likely to choose the
person who fits into the criminal stereotype.
In the article "Valence and the Development of Immediate and Long-term False
Memory Illusions" by Mark L. Howe, Ingrid Candel, Henry Otgaar, Catherine Malone
and Marina C. Wimmer, a group of scientist who got together to perform a study on both
children and adults to find if it was possible to make someone believe they experienced
something they had never really experienced. This is referred to as a false memory. A

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false memory, in other words, is a memory that is not real or a memory that someone
made you believe was real. These scientists found that false memories and traumatic or
emotional events in one's life can be linked. A bad experience can affect how well we
remember something, but it can also cause us to sometime add extra details that did not
exactly happen in the moment. They explain, our memory is a reconstructive process in
which errors often occur, this means we might falsely remember details that we did not in
fact encounter(58). In other words, people will sometimes over exaggerate when
telling about a traumatic or emotional event that happened to them. The story these
people tell that is linked to a traumatic or emotional event in their lives may change from
time to time or just become something more than it really is.
Another finding by the scientist who reported the "Valence and the Development
of Immediate and Long-term False Memory Illusions" is that adults are more likely to
recall a false memory. They state, studies have shown that the development of
spontaneous false memories increase as a function of age(59). Basically, they are trying
to explain to us that we tend to use our false memory more as we get older. When we are
young, we have yet to experience much in the world, but when we are older we have
experienced more that can lead us to believe something happened to us when in fact that
incident never happened to us. The older we get the easier it is for someone else to lead
us to believe we experienced something we had never really experienced before.
In Borrowing Personal Memories an article by Alan S. Brown, Kathryn Croft
Caderao, Lingy M. Fields, and Elizabeth J. Marsh, college aged student were studied to
find how often one borrows memories. They studied a group of 74 students by having
them take a survey. They state, because self-generated fictitious events are likely to be

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influenced by a persons idiosyncratic knowledge and beliefs, the content of the made-up
accounts may later be perceived as especially plausible and real(476). Those conducting
the survey are basically saying that we, as humans, are so used to lying that we do not
even notice when we are telling someone else's story as if it were our own. We might not
always mean to steal someone elses story sometimes people can do it without ever even
realizing it. They also found that people can often be completely aware that they are
telling someone elses story as if it were their own but they simply do not care and just
continue to do so. If someone can steal someone elses story and share it with the world
as if it were their own would one be more worried about what else that person could be
capable of doing?
With both of these studies we find that our memory is a very fragile thing. Not
only can we be unaware that we are telling the stories of others as if they were our own
but outside sources can also lead us to remember an event that we have never
experienced. This can leave one to ask themselves, is my memory as reliable as I think it
is? If you were to witness, say a robbery, would you be able to describe the person who
committed the crime accurately or even be able to identify the person correctly if five
people who matched your description were placed in front of you?
Elizabeth Loftus, a psychologist who studies false memories, did a presentation
titled How Reliable is Your Memory? In the presentation she wanted us to realize how
a false memory could lead to the ending of an innocent person's life. She first opens with
a case of an innocent man, Steve Titus, who was accused of doing something he didnt do
only because he resembled the man who raped her. She explains that when a photo of
Titus was put in front of the rape victim she said that ones the closest, but then later on

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in the courtroom the victim them said, I am absolutely positive thats the man. Titus
was found guilty of a crime that he had never committed only because of a
resemblance to the actual rapist. She explains that with the help of a journalist the man
who had really raped the women was found and the charges against Titus were dropped
but it was all too late. Because he was accused of rape, he lost everything including all of
his money. Loftus explains that Titus was to caught up in trying to sue the court for
wrongfully accusing him his fianc left him and he later on died of a stress related heart
attack at only 35 years old. She goes on to explain how this isnt rare. There have been
many people who are convicted of crimes they did not do because of someones false
memory, or faulty memory.
We tend to think that we can just play back our memories and things we have
experienced but it is in fact more complicated than that. Most of the time we tend not
only remember things differently but also remember things that never happened. Loftus
states our memories are constructive. They are reconstructive. Memory works a little
more like a Wikipedia page; you can go in there and change it but so can other people.
Here Loftus is saying that false memories can be planted. She goes on to explain how
constructing or reconstructing a memory can be as easy as telling someone something to
make them recall something that had never happened to them and even just showing them
a picture of something and having them recall everything they say. Because the scenario
looked familiar, they had some ideas of what they thought should be there, but when the
picture was shown to them again the picture was missing the things they thought should
be in the picture.

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Our memory is a delicate thing that can easily be manipulated. The first study
helps prove that false memories are linked to traumatic and emotional events in our lives.
Adults tend to recall a false memory more than children do because they have
experienced and seen more of the world. The second study helps prove that people can
borrow someone's memory without realizing what they are doing at the moment but they
can also be completely aware of what they are doing and simply not care. Studies like
these are what help psychologist like Elizabeth Loftus get further involved in cases like
the one of Steve Titus. False memory can lead to the conviction of an innocent person,
which could completely ruin their life.

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Works Cited
Brown, Alan S., Kathryn Croft Caderao, Lindy M. Fields, and Elizabeth J. Marsh.
"Borrowing Personal Memories." Applied Cognitive Psychology 29.3 (2015):
471-77. Academic Search Premier. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.
Chabris, Christopher, and Daniel Simons. "The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our
Intuitions Deceive Us." The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuitions
Deceive Us. N.p., 18 May 2010. Web. 20 Nov. 2016.
How Reliable Is Your Memory. Perf. Psychologist Elizabeth Loftus. YouTube. YouTube,
23 Sept. 2013. Web. 21 Nov. 2016. youtu.be/PB2OegI6wvI.
Howe, Mark L., Ingrid Candel, Henry Otgaar, Catherine Malone, and Marina C. Wimmer.
"Valence and the Development of Immediate and Long-term False Memory
Illusions." Memory 18.1 (2010): 58-75. Academic Search Premier. Web. 14 Nov.
2016.