Dissociative Idenity Disorder: A matter of False Descriptions & False Denials?

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Psychologist Discovers False Descriptions Easier to Remember than False Denials

September 4, 2013. Louisiana State University, Louisiana, USA

by Sean Lane, Associate Professor and Kathleen Vieria, former graduate student

excerpts by blogger:

What happens when you tell a lie? Set aside your ethical concerns for a moment—after all, lying is a habit we practice with astonishing dexterity and frequency, whether we realize it or not. What goes on in your brain when you willfully deceive someone? And what happens later, when you attempt to access the memory of your deceit? How you remember a lie may be impacted profoundly by how you lie.

The study, accepted for publication in the Journal of Applied Research and Memory Cognition, examines two kinds of lies – false descriptions and false denials – and the different cognitive machinery that we use to record and retrieve them.

False Descriptions. Are deliberate flights of the imagination—details and descriptions that we invent for something that didn’t happen. As it turned out, these lies were far easier for Lane’s test subjects to remember.

False Denial. This kind of lie—denying something that actually happened—is often brief, and its cognitive demand is therefore much smaller.

Summary

This means that telling the truth can actually lead to a false memory. A man who repeatedly denies being present at the scene of the crime, for example, might actually begin to imagine that scene – where it was, what it looked like, who was present – even if he was never there. It feels strangely familiar to him, and because the repeated denials have slipped from his memory, he can’t explain why.

False memory is a well-documented phenomenon. In a courtroom, it can be disastrous. Through studies like this one, Lane offers forensic investigators a deeper insight into this bizarre behavior.

Full report retrieved 01-02-14. False descriptions & False denials

 

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