The topic I choose for this paper is False memory. This paper is based on a mini experiment I took on false memory. Below are instructions and background on the mini experiment I took to give you a better understanding on what false memory is all about, this paper is a reflection on the experiment. Please read the attached reflection paper requirements and rubric for a successful paper.

False Memory

False Memory


An important issue for theories of cognition is how well we remember things. It is important because nearly every aspect of cognition depends on memory to some degree. To understand problem solving, decision making, attention, and perception, you need to know the abilities and limits of memory. The quality of memory is important for practical reasons as well. Many significant events depend on reports from human observers. From eyewitness testimony in murder trials to arguments with a spouse about who said what, memory and memory accuracy is critical. A surprising finding is that there is no way to assess memory accuracy without objective evidence (such as a tape recording or a photograph). The vividness or confidence of the person recalling the memory is not an accurate indication of the truth of the memory. This is not to say that most memories are inaccurate. We must be pretty accurate much of the time or else living would be quite difficult. However, for those situations in which accuracy of detail is important, memories cannot be trusted, no matter how adamant the recaller is about the vividness of the memory.

This experiment demonstrates one methodology that biases people to recall things that did not occur. The memories associated with experiments of this type are often called false memories. The method was first used by Deese (1959) and has been extended more recently by Roediger and McDermott (1995). The task is like many other memory experiments. A sequence of words is presented (verbally or visually) and the participant must subsequently classify a set of words as either in the sequence (old) or not in the sequence (new).

What differentiates this experiment from other memory experiments is that the sequences are specially designed to bias participant to report a particular word that was not included in the list. When people report that one of these words was in the sequence but it really was not, they are having a false memory. In some cases, people will report that they vividly recall seeing (or hearing) the word, so their memories are very strong, despite their inaccuracy.


If you have logged in, you’ll see a rectangle below. Make sure that you can see the full area before you begin the lab.

On each trial, a sequence of words will appear, with each word presented for one second. After the full sequence has been presented, a set of buttons will be shown, each labeled with a word. Some of these words were on the list, and some were not. Your task is to click or tap on the buttons to indicate which words were in the sequence. You may click or tap on the buttons in any order.

There is no way to correct mistakes, so be careful!

The experiment includes 6 trials.

At the end of the experiment, you will be asked if you want to save your data to a set of global data. After you answer the question, a new Web page window will appear that includes a debriefing, your data, your group’s data, and the global data.


If you are using a tablet, tap the Start Next Trial button to begin. After the buttons appear, tap the buttons to indicate which words were on the list you just saw. When you are done, tap the Finished Responding button.


If you are using a computer, click the Start Next Trial button to begin. After the buttons appear, click the buttons to indicate which words were on the list you just saw. When you are done, click the Finished Responding button.

Write one FULL page reflection paper about the MindTap experiment you chose.  Be sure to answer all of the questions below but do not include the questions in your paper.  Your paper should be APA formatted (doubled spaced, 1” margins on all sides and use Times Roman 12pt font).

1.In your own words, explain what the experiment was about and what was the hypothesis.

Share your thoughts about completing the actual MindTap experiment.  Was the actual

procedure easy or difficult?  What it fun? (5pts)

  1. Explain your results? What was measured? What were the predicted results (i.e. hypothesis)?

Were the predicted results different from your results or the same?  Were you surprised or did you expect your results?  Explain.  (5pts)

  1. What does this experiment tell you about cognition? In other words, what is the theoretical significance.  How is this experiment relevant for everyday life?   (5pts)