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  • I'm gonna read you a list of 15 words, and after I'm done reading them,

  • I want you to write down as many as you can remember.

  • Ready to listen?

  • Okay.

  • Sour.

  • Nice.

  • Candy.

  • Honey.

  • Sugar.

  • Soda.

  • Bitter.

  • Chocolate.

  • Good.

  • Heart.

  • Taste.

  • Cake.

  • Tooth.

  • Tart.

  • Pie.

  • Okay. Now pause this video and write down as many as you can without cheating.

  • Even when you hit the point of getting stumped, close your eyes and think, and you'll likely recall a few more.

  • Ready to reveal?

  • Now, some of you likely got the last few words I said,

  • like tooth, tart, and pie.

  • But did you remember the word "sweet"?

  • Be honest. Because surprisingly,

  • the majority of people are actually likely to write down the word sweet even though it was not on the list at all.

  • And this is what we call a false memory.

  • It's a psychological phenomenon where a person remembers something that didn't occur.

  • Like how many people vividly remember the Monopoly man having a monocle?

  • He never has.

  • Or recall hearing the phrase "Luke, I am your father" when he only says "No, I am your father".

  • Or the evil witch saying "Mirror mirror on the wall" when she says "Magic mirror on the wall".

  • Memories are first formed in the hippocampus of the brain,

  • one of the only areas where brand new neurons are made regularly.

  • This information is saved by altering neurons and creating synapses and connections.

  • But it's often only focusing on the major details of your experience.

  • So you might remember the time, place, and person, but not necessarily the color of their hat.

  • However, your memories aren't perfect.

  • If you're introduced to new information between the time of you experiencing something, and when you try to recall it,

  • for example, if somebody else gives you a slightly different account of how things were,

  • it can alter or even completely replace your memory.

  • And eventually these new memories gradually migrate further into the cortex becoming your truth.

  • And each time you think about or misremember an event, the further you cement this new truth.

  • This simple effect can have pretty incredible consequences.

  • Like eye witnesses for crimes or accidents recalling false details.

  • In fact, one study found that if they showed people a car accident and then ask two groups

  • either:

  • how fast were the cars going when they "bumped" into each other,

  • or

  • how fast were the cars going when they "smashed" into each other.

  • Those who heard the word "smashed", were more likely to report higher speeds.

  • This same verb also made them more likely to report that they saw broken glass in the accident even when there was none.

  • In a similar study, a car was shown going through a stop sign, causing an accident.

  • But if a question was asked suggesting it was a yield sign,

  • many witnesses would confirm that it was a yield sign.

  • This is why eye witness accounts are less often used as evidence now unless they're corroborated and verified.

  • Finally, some studies have been able to successfully implant false childhood memories into test subjects.

  • Researchers would give the subjects four short narratives describing childhood events that happened to them,

  • but without the subjects knowing one false memory was included about being lost in a shopping mall as a kid.

  • And yet, 25% of the test subjects reported remembering the false event.

  • Think your memory is better?

  • How did this video even start?

  • I mean, other than our logo which plays at the beginning of every video we make,

  • can you remember what happened after that?

  • Except,

  • we didn't play the logo at the beginning of this video.

  • And if you thought we did, I just gave you a false memory.

  • Be sure to check out our newest videos by clicking the screen or using the links in the description,

  • and subscribe for more weekly science videos every Thursday.

I'm gonna read you a list of 15 words, and after I'm done reading them,

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B1 US memory recall tart mirror accident smashed

Can You Remember This?

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    Colleen Jao posted on 2017/07/04
Video vocabulary