Francesco Ianì, Marco Formichella, Monica Bucciarelli, Giuliana Mazzoni

False memories from the construction of kinematic mental models

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Kinematic Mental Simulation; Mental Models; False Memories; Recognition Memory.

A vast literature on false memories reveals that they can result from several mental processes. We assume that false memories can result also from a kinematic mental simulation that individuals build in the attempt to understand what is going on when they observe a state of affairs. The participants in our study were invited to observe for 10 seconds each of a series of photos depicting an actor near to perform an action, and three days later their memory for the photos was assessed through a recognition task. The photos presented at recall included, besides the original ones, also photos in which the actor was performing the action. The results of the experiment show a tendency of participants to recognize as if they were the original, the photos in which the actor is performing the action. The results confirm the assumption that individuals, in order to make sense of a state of affairs they observe, run a kinematic mental simulation that can lead them to misrecognize the state of affairs resulting from the simulation as if it was the original one.

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