Daniele Gatti, Mara Stockner, Elisa Allegrini, Maria Elena Grassilli, Valeria Matteucci, Chiara Mignone, Giuliana Mazzoni

The two sides of false memory: Between adaptive distortions and confabulation, some implications for testimony

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Memory, false memory, confabulation, testimony

Memory is one of the most studied cognitive functions within Psychology. Memory is related to all cognitive functions, and all cognitive functions depend on memory contents in some way. However, human memory appears as an inaccurate error-prone system, with contents that can be variously false. The purpose of the present target article is to review studies investigating false memory, examining cases in which false memories occur under normal conditions vs. being due to physical, functional or psychological abnormalities, and try to disentangle these two phenomena. Normal false memories and confabulations will be framed within a broader perspective that takes into account memory adaptive functions, considering its limits as byproducts of the flexibility of cognitive processes. Finally, practical consequences of this perspective will be discussed, specifically focusing on juridical contexts and eyewitness testimony in court cases.

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