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June 5 2013

When Trick Questions Become False Memories


Simply asking people whether they experienced an event can trick them into later believing that it did occur, according to a neat little study just out: Susceptibility to long-term misinformation effect outside of the laboratory

Psychologists Miriam Lommen and colleagues studied 249 Dutch soldiers were deployed for a four month tour of duty in Afghanistan. As part of a study into PTSD, they were given an interview at the end of the deployment asking them about their exposure to various stressful events that had occurred. However, one of the things discussed was made up – a missile attack on their base on New Year’s Eve.

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