Misinformation and imagination effects on memory refer to the ways in which our memories can be influenced or distorted by outside information or our own thoughts and imaginations. This can lead to the formation of false memories, which are memories that feel real but are not based in reality. One way that misinformation can affect memory is through the process of “memory conformity,” in which people incorporate new information into their memories of an event, even if that information is false or misleading (Lalumière et al., 2018). Imagination can also influence memory, as when we imagine or visualize events, our brains can treat those mental simulations as real experiences and incorporate them into our memories (Gonsalves et al., 2018). So how can we discern between true and false memories? One approach is to use “memory criteria,” which are specific characteristics that true memories are more likely to have, such as being detailed and rich in sensory information (Loftus, 2018). Another approach is to compare our memories to external sources of information, such as documents or eyewitness accounts (Lalumière et al., 2018). Cont…
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