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False Memory Essay

881 words - 4 pages

The False Memory Task begins by giving examples of how memory of events can be incorrect, although we might not be aware of it. The goal of this task is to clearly show how easy it is for our memories to have false information. We are often convinced that our memories are correct, especially when they seem to be logical and contain a lot of detail. However, errors in memory are easily made and far more frequent than the majority of people realize. This ZAPS experiment approaches false memory errors in a way where it is easy to point out, and create, false memories.
The procedure is simple. On the computer screen, twelve words are revealed one word at a time in the form of a list. After the last word, a matrix of twelve words is shown. The matrix is a table of twelve words, some of which were on the list, some of which were not. Participants in the task chose which words they believe were on the list, using free recall to select words in any order. A new list begins when participants believe they have all of the correct words from the matrix. The cycle begins again. A list of twelve words are presented, a matrix appears after the twelfth word, and participants select words according to their memory of what was on the list. There are six lists in total, with no practice trials, however there are breaks in between to express the differences in each list.
I chose this task because I was rather skeptical and unsure if the task would accomplish its goal in just fifteen minutes. Curious as to how this ZAPS would work, I approached the task with a simple theory. I was not sure how the experiment would give participants false memories, but judging by other tests I had taken on ZAPS, I was certain that it would be an uncomplicated experiment with a few important details I would have to keep track of. The False Memory Task appeared to use words, so I was likely to confuse them in some manner, perhaps words that were similar in meaning or fit the context of each section of the task. I predicted that I would have to hold information in my working memory, and pay attention to the task, which could cause confusion. In my theory, confusion was the key element. Transplant errors, explained by the Cognition text book, were likely to take place. Transplant errors are the process of confusing elements from one memory with elements from another. I was positive that this ZAPS task would have elements that would purposely confuse...

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