Memory illusions and consciousness: Examining the phenomenology of true and false memories

Abstract

Several recent false memory studies have addressed the question of how false memories are experienced phenomenologically. In this article we argue that it is not only possible to address questions of this sort, but it is necessary for a full understanding of memory illusions. We define memory illusions as false beliefs about the past that are experienced as memories. We then review a corpus of evidence that addresses the phenomenological experience of false memories. None of this evidence is perfect, but taken in its totality it suggests that false memories are similar to true memories but are also subtly different. We conclude with several recommendations for how the phenomenology of false memories can be fruitfully explored.

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Lampinen, J.M., Neuschatz, J.S. & Payne, D.G. Memory illusions and consciousness: Examining the phenomenology of true and false memories. Curr Psychol 16, 181–224 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-997-1000-5

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Keywords

  • False Memory
  • Current Psychology
  • Source Monitoring
  • Critical Lure
  • Perceptual Illusion