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Methods of Studying False Memory

Otgaar, H., Houben, S. & Howe, M. L. ORCID: 0000-0002-5747-5571 (2018). Methods of Studying False Memory. In: Research methods in human memory. . New York: Routledge.


The study of memory is one of those domains in psychology which has clear practical relevance. Think, for example, about people with Alzheimer’s disease. Devastating dysfunction experienced by these patients makes it abundantly evident that our memory constitutes an overarching and critical role in our daily life. However, in the study of memory, there is another memory phenomenon that also carries with it enormous theoretical and practical implications, namely, memory illusions. That is, people frequently claim that they remember details or even an entire event that never actually happened. These false memories can have serious consequences when they appear in the testimony of witness, victims, or suspects in legal cases (Howe & Knott, 2015; Otgaar, De Ruiter, Howe, Hoetmer, & van Reekum, in press). A person, for example, might falsely remember that he/she was sexually abused when he/she was a child, and this memory illusion might lead to false accusations that may result in wrongful convictions.

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in Handbook of Research Methods in Human Memory on 12 October 2018, available online:
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
Text - Accepted Version
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