Memories can be fickle. This has been seen on people who have brain disorders, especially those who have dementia or Alzheimer's. However, even among healthy people, memories can be manipulated. This has been demonstrated in a recent study, which found that many people are prone to remembering things that never happened.
Repetition is the key to making a person remember something, even if it's not true. This has been found by a research by Dr. Kimberley Wade from the Department of Psychology at the University of Warwick. People tend to remember events if repeatedly told by them, and they imagine it often enough.
Around 400 people participated in the study. The study had false memories implanted to the participants through constant repetition and suggestion. The study has found that about half of the participants report that they can clearly remember the events happening, even if it was just suggested or repeated to them.
Around 30 percent of those who participated say that they can clearly remember the event suggested to them to have happened. 23 percent of the participants accept that the event could have happened, according to the University of Warwick's site. The study shows that memories can be implanted or suggested to people, even if such events never took place.
Dr. Wade and her colleagues have shown that it can be hard to tell if a person is recalling an actual past event or else something that might not have happened. This can have an impact in criminal investigations and therapy sessions, as Science Daily reports. Even the collective memory of groups can be suspect, as suggesting events to people can be done through misinformation or propaganda.
Dr. Wade further said that distorted beliefs can influence a person's attitude and behavior. This is true especially when it comes to memory, which can be influenced by suggestion from another person. Dr. Wade has said that it is still not clear how suggestions can influence memory and that further research will be made about it.
Memories can be suggested, as the study has shown. Many people are prone to remember things that never happened. A study has also shown that good and deep breathing can improve memory.