The Nature of Memory Distortion

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TheNature of Memory Distortion

TheNature of False Memory

Naturally,the human mind is inclined to lead to distortions. The study ofmemory distortion explores individuals’ failure to detect adiscrepancy between a choice and its consequence(Sikström, 2017).Choice blindness, referred here as memory distortion, is a result ofthe natural human process of forgetting and can be viewed through thelens of drawing from real life situations, imagination inflation andpersonalized suggestions (Sagana, Sauerland, &amp Merckelbach,2014). Individuals rely on the memory to recall events and give anaccount of what transpired and may fail to notice discrepancies.

Whenfaulty information about an event is received, people are susceptibleto changing recollection and erasing past events, therefore, changingtheir present and future choices (Sikström,2017).Sikström(2017)added that when individuals are presented with misleading evidenceabout an event, they get a strong impression that they have in thepast experienced that particular event. Subjective feeling describesgood recall of events, replete with sensory details, even when theynever happened (Sauerland, Sagana, &amp Otgaar, 2013). For instance,an eyewitness may allege that a person has committed a crime basingon society’s creation of stereotypes.

Memorydistortion is a broad area of study and it is challenging to examineall its forms and manifestation in criminal litigation (Sauerland,Sagana and Otgaar, 2013). Whereas experimental procedures may onlyact to affirm the position held by the eye witness by creatingplanted memories and false beliefs, using the eyewitness as solesource of evidence may not give an accurate account of what happened(Sikström,2017).Professionals should understand the nature of memory distortion andutilized their knowledge to inform practice.


Sagana,A., Sauerland, M., &amp Merckelbach, H. (2014). “This is theperson you selected”: Eyewitnesses’ blindness for their ownfacial recognition decisions. AppliedCognitive Psychology, 28(5),753–765. 34

Sauerland,M., Sagana, A., &amp Otgaar, H. (2013). Theoretical and legal issuesrelated to choice blindness for voices.Legal and Criminological Psychology, 18(2),371–381.

&nbspSikströmStille L, Norin E, (2017) Self-delivered misinformation – Merging thechoice blindness and misinformation effect paradigms. PLoSONE 12(3)