Sleep Deprivation can Lead to False Memories
Alyssa N. Hernandez
California State University, Fullerton
Sleep Deprivation Can Lead to False Memories
False memories are memories of something that did not happen (Radvansky, 2010). Steven J.Frendal and colleagues researched the effect of sleep deprivation on false memories. In this study researchers examined the relationship between self-reported sleep and false memories. Researchers suggest that under certain conditions, sleep deprivation can increase the risk of developing false memories (Frendal et al., 2014). To test this hypothesis, researchers provided participants with a misinformation task when participants were sleep deprived during event encoding. Frendal and colleagues suggest that there was a significant finding with this study, however false memories did not occur if event encoding happened after sleep deprivation.
Since the belief is that memories are not embedded into our brains, people often recall events that never took place, but believe they occurred with great confidence. A good example of this idea of false memories would be eyewitness false identification. This is when a person strongly believes they can point out a convict with great confidence, and mistake them for a wrong person. This certainty is the leading cause to wrongful convictions in the U.S. (Costanzo& Krauss, 2012).False memories can be a dangerous thing, researchers are beginning to look more into what causes false memories and what types of things can cause faults in our memory.
There are several ways to test false memories; in this study researchers tested it by using a misinformation test. This is when participants encode some stimuli (usually videos or photographs), l...
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...eeping. Although it might be hard to decide whether sleep impacts memory this study can provide readers with a better understanding of how sleep deprivation can alter your memories in certain situations. Readers also are able to better understand what misinformation can do and how it can help researchers better test false memories.
Costanzo, M., & Krauss, D. (2012).Forensic and Legal Psychology. New York: BFW/Worth.
Darsaud, A., Dehon, H., Lahl, O., Sterpenich, V., Boly, M., Dhang-Vu, T., Collette, F. (2010). Does sleep promote false memories? Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 23, 26-40
Frenda, S. J., Patihis, L., Loftus, E. F., Lewis, H. C., & Fenn, K. M. (2014). Sleep deprivation and false memories. Psychological Science, 25(9), 1674-1681. doi: 10.1177/0956797614534694
Radvansky, G.A. (2010).Cognition, Fith Edition. Saddle River: Pearson education.
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