False memory; how to read it? What is called false memory, the history of research, reasons for its appearance, types, and psychology, and how artificial memory affects people’s lives. If false memories are rare, they do not significantly impact a person’s life. But if they are repeated often, this indicates an unhealthy process in the body’s life, especially the brain. In this case, they talk about a painful memory disorder.
Manifestations of false memory as a mental disorder
One should discuss false memory syndrome (SLS), when false memories dominate a person’s memory. It defines every aspect of a person’s life. And this is already a violation of the processes of memorization, a painful manifestation that doctors call dyslexia, which in translation from Greek means “wrong memory.” Often occurs with neurological diseases caused by external (external) factors. And it gives rise to psychosis due to various conditions in the internal organs or intoxication in the body.
The manifestation of the disease includes memory loss such as:
- False, vague memories (false memories) … Real events in the distant past, usually related to personal life experiences, are believed to be happening in the present. Let’s say a person experienced a burning frustration in childhood. It constantly burned the soul and led to an unexpected painful effect: it began to perceive that it had happened recently. Such memory loss appears in various diseases of the central nervous system and is characteristic of people of adult age.
- Invalid stories (contagion) … There is a certain similarity here with artificial memories. The only difference is that what happened in the past is not only transferred to the present but also “diluted” with fictional stories. Imagination appears that, for example, walked into the forest and was stolen by aliens. Sometimes fiction is accompanied by delirium, an attack on visual and auditory pseudo-hallucinations. They are found in people with schizophrenia, drug addicts, alcoholics with an overdose of psychoactive drugs, and those with dementia.
- Fantasy Dreams (Cryptomnesia) … This is a painful situation when, for example, a novel you read or a movie you watched becomes an integral part of life. The opposite effect: it seems to a person that his life has been described in a book or shown in a film. He gets used to this thinking and lives in his delusional world, considering himself his hero. A type of such mental disorder is – not recognizing what was previously known. It can appear old or with schizophrenia.
- Consciousness “out and in” (phantasma) … Consciousness suddenly makes phantasmal events come true. It didn’t happen, but it seems like it did.
It is important to know! Paramnesia is a painful memory disorder. It results from a severe illness that depends on treatment and psychotherapy.
Characteristics of faulty memory processing
Memory has its gray areas. Experts know about this; it is not without reason that heated debates have flared up in recent years about whether it can interfere with a person’s psyche and force him to remember what may not have been in his life. Such practices with memory, when suddenly “remembering” something that was not in reality, can have severe consequences for a particular individual and society.
The soul tends to give off false “meanings,” which people, for various reasons (sometimes sincerely and more often cunningly), take for what happened to them. Cases from the lives of famous people testify to this. For example, Marilyn Monroe often recalled being raped at 7. But the rapist’s name was different each time.
German film star Marlene Dietrich also loved to talk about being raped at age 16 by her music teacher. And she even called his name. But the journalists found out that he did not even live in Germany during his school years.
It is likely that both Marilyn Monroe and Marlene Dietrich believed sincerely in their stories and took them seriously. Then it is nothing more than a fantasy, a kind of disease. Or maybe they were just deceitful. Society sympathizes with people who have suffered violence. Famous beautiful women have such miserable lives! One can only sincerely sympathize and pity them.
It is one of the phenomena of false memory. On the other hand, it can produce hatred and even discord between loved ones. There are examples of adult children going to court and accusing their parents of abusing them in their childhood. On this basis, scandals took place. The parents charged the children that it was all fiction. Close people are understood as enemies.
So can you force a person to remember their past? The psychologist can push to reflect on the minor details of what happened a long time ago that have “flown” from Consciousness. Is this necessary after many years, and are such memories correct? Why invade the human psyche? No expert knows what damage it can do to working memory.
It has been observed that if you constantly teach any wrong thought in a person, eventually, it will be accepted as valid. Political strategists have long used it. It successfully sways society to the views of the party they work for. People believe that and then scratch their heads that they have voted, for example, for parliament, not the deputies.
Another case is when historical events are misinterpreted. Suppose the media daily imposes on the public a viewpoint pleasing to the authorities. In that case, it becomes “the ultimate truth.” The people begin to believe in it but consider the other opinion wrong.
It is consistent with the so-called Mandela effect, when collective memory is based on false historical facts—named after the South African politician Nelson Mandela. Many in the West believed that he had died in prison. However, the politician was released and even became the president of South Africa.
For example, today, the Great Patriotic War is rejected in Ukraine at the state level. It is believed that for Ukrainians, it was only World War II. And many considered this sacred. So history is being rewritten by driving false assumptions into people’s memories.
It is important to know! False memory is an essential ideological factor in political struggle. It is based on methods of informational and psychological processing of people’s attitudes.
False memory is an underestimated phenomenon of the human psyche, an insufficiently known psychological phenomenon when a person “remembers” an event that did not happen. Can attribute Such memories to defensive reactions, a person’s response to the unknown, to protect themselves from potentially stressful situations, or to evoke sympathy and empathy. On the other hand, deliberate manipulation of public Consciousness turns people into obedient herds. Let’s say that historical facts and events (recent or “things of the past”) that are misinterpreted by the media become a false collective memory. The consequences of such an aggressive intervention in the human psyche can inevitably affect the individual’s and society’s lives.