Turns out Our Memories Can be Distorted or Even Fabricated
Countless times, science, research, and experience has shown how unreliable our brains can be to us. When our mind is not playing tricks on us and seeing things that may or may not be there, it does not remember things correctly.
Try this exercise: Get together with a few friends and try to remember a night out from a couple years ago. There is a good chance that most of you will remember things very differently. But this is nothing new. Our minds tend to alter our memories. You are more prone to remember something better or far worse than its actual life event.
To make us mistrust our minds, even more, scientist are saying that it is possible to plant false memories into our brains, and even more strangely some are arguing that it could be a good thing.
There are countless studies that prove we cannot trust our minds and our memories can change or "evolve". Even a little more worrisome, the issue of our limited minds comes up in court cases and have unintentionally affected the verdict in some cases.
In a study where subjects were shown videos of simulated crimes or accidents, it was proven that is pretty easy to manipulate or alter a person's recollection of an event. So, this had researchers thinking: would it be possible to plant a false memory in someone's mind? "It's pretty easy to distort memories for the details of what they actually saw by supplying them with suggestive information," says Elizabeth F. Lotus a researcher and professor of cognitive psychology and human memory.
Creepily, the answer is an overwhelming yes, you can be made to believe that something occurred in your life that never happened. Like something out of Blade Runner, in a very extreme case, you could have an entire memory of your life altered. It doesn't matter if you have a healthy brain or not. What is even scarier is there is really not a way of knowing if someone's mind has been altered. In one study, 70 percent of subjects were made to believe they had committed some type of crime by using memory-retrieval techniques in interviews. The idea of memory goes back to the turn of the century, but this cognitive study is just gaining steam.