Do you have the memory to be an accurate eyewitness?

The false memories in critical situations.

Frank Carrillo Free

20 years because of false memories.

In this TED video Scott Fraser uses examples of something we’re all doing every minute, of every day. Creating false memories! And in this case, create a miscarriage of justice.

Could you be sure of your memory to make a life changing decision?

As mentioned in the video, there have been to date 250 – 280 documented cases of wrongful conviction in the US, which have been now exonerated, some from death row and 75% of all those only included eye-witness identification. Under the absolute best of conditions we only remember the very minimal bits of information needed and we fill in the missing bits in order to make sense of what we don’t know or remember. These come from best guess and later information. This shows the danger of later altering the memories of an eye-witness.

All our memories are reconstructed memories… the accuracy of our memories is not measured in how vivid they are nor how certain you are that they are correct.

Maybe you’ll never be asked to make decisions as critical as in this example but how much can you trust you memory on the normal everyday events of your life or how much can you trust yourself?

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