Case Study 2- False Memories Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Case Study 2- False Memories Deck (21):

Who were the researchers?
What year?
What type of psychology approach ?

Loftus and pickrell
Cognitive approach


Why did they decide to do this study?
What were these studies based on?
What does someone believe from false memories ?

There were too many studies on memory.

Studies were based on how our memories can be :
Proactive (what we did earlier)
Retroactive ( experiences afterwards)

Someone believed that a false memories (where people remember events that never really happened) was part of a original events, even though it never existed.
This occurred due to proactive and retroactive


What was the aim?

Investigate whether it was possible to make people FORM a false memory of an event that never really happened to them.


How many participants were there?

24 participants ( 3 males and 21 females)
Aged between 18-53 years old.


Who were they found by?
How were they selected?

Found by university of Washington.

Selected by student from this university, that had to give a participant and a relative. Child and parent.


What was the sampling technique ?

Opportunity sampling


Participants :
WHAT were they told once chosen?

They were told that they were taking part in a study based on childhood memories,

with a focus on why do people sometimes REMEBER things and other do not.


Part one:
WHAT was the research method?
First of all who was interviewed?
What were these events based on ?
What was the false story based on ?

Research method was self report. Semi-structured interview.

Interview with participants relative to get three true events.

Events were based on participants being FIVE YEARS OLD, no traumatic or family events as they could be easily remembered.

False story was based on a trip to shopping mall.


Part one:
What where the questions asked,

1.Where family used to go shopping when participant was 5

2.Which family members used to go on these shopping trips

3.Type of store participant was interested when going to shopping mall

4.To confirm if participant had ever been lost in a mall.


Part two:
What happened after relatives interview?
How many stories did booklet have?
What was its layout?
What did the third story involve ?
What did they do once finished ?

A five page booklet was sent to participants, with a covering letter and instructions.

Had four stories. 3 true from relatives and 1 false getting lost in a shopping mall.

Each story had a short paragraph. With a line underneath for participants to say how in detail they new about this event.

False story was always the third.
1. Lost in a shopping mall, long period of time, cried, was 5, found and helped by strangers and reunited with family,

Once finished they sent bookelt back in the post.


Part two:
What did the false event include?

Lost in a shopping mall
5 years old
For a long period of time
Found and helped by adults
Reunited with family


Part three
1. What were participants asked to do?
2. What did interviewers tell them?
3. After they were asked, they had to rate themselves on?

1. Were reminded about the four events from the booklet and were ASKED to recall as much as possible.

2. Interviewers told them, that they wanted to see if the participant could REMEBER more than relative

3. Rate them selves on a scale:
1-10= clarity memory scale
1-5= if given more time would they REMEBER any more? Confidence scale


Interview two :
What were three things that occurred?

1. Same as first interview

2. Participants were told about the study, about false memory and were asked which one they thought was false

3 were apologized for the deceptive nature


What was the independent variable?

Three stages of booklet completion
Interview 1
Interview 2


Type of data:

Quantitative data-
Related to percentages recall
Confidence and clarity ratings

Qualitative data -
Study included word to word descriptions and was analyzed


What was found out?
3 things

1. 68% of the 24 participants remembered true event.
2. 29% of the 2; participants remembered false event, but one changed her mind from booklet to interview.
3. More words were spoken when speaking about TRUE events than when speaking about false event.
130 words- 40 words


What was the dependent variable?

DV1- percentage of participants recalling true events and false events

DV2- ratings of clarity memory 1-10

DV3 - ratings of confidence 1-5


What was found out?
Another 4

75% said the they had no recollection of the false event either on booklet or interview.

On clarity rating scale- (1-10)
True- 6.3 true
False - 2.8

On confidence rating- 1-5
True- interview 1- 2.2 and 2. 2.7
False- interview 1- 1.4 and 1.8

19 out of 24 participants managed to identify which was the false event, however even though they got it correct, some were dubious.


What was the conclusion?

Some people can be mislead into believing in a false event that happened to them during childhood ,through suggestion that it was a true event.

Hence it was proved that yes, people's memory can be changed by suggestion


Strengths about the formation of false memories?

1. QUANTITIVE DATA was reliable as it was numerical, and reinforced to two scales
2. LESS MISINTERPRETATION of researchers as information mas based of participants from booklet
3. Data is OBJECTIVE and can be analyzed for conclusions


weaknesses of false memory

1. Confidence rating were numerical. Therefore participants could not explain why they classified it at that point.

2. Ethics.
Breaks ethical guidelines.
As participants did not leave the study in the same psychological state as when they started.

Plus some did not pick up the false event and left that during their childhood they were actually lost in a shopping mall