It’s an enduring sci-fi device – “a man wakes up with memories. But are they his own?”
Philip (“Blade Runner”) K Dick did it lots, as did the people responsible for the recent film “Inception” etc. In other films and books it’s about the absence or removal of memory (Memento, 1984, Men in Black’s flash-bang pens). But that’s all just fertile imagination, right?
Nope. Memories, it turns out (as per Solomon Asch in the 1950s), are socially (re)constructed things…
See “How Groups change your mind” and this;
I Imagine I Experience, I Like: The False Experience Effect
Southern Methodist University (SMU) – Edwin L. Cox School of Business
Nicole Votolato Montgomery
College of William and Mary
January 13, 2011
Abstract: False memories refer to the mistaken belief that an event that did not occur, did occur. Much of the research on false memories has focused on the antecedents to and the characteristics of such memories, with little focus on the consequences of false memories. In this research, we propose that exposure to an imagery-evoking ad can result in an erroneous belief that an individual has experienced the advertised brand. We also demonstrate that such false experiential beliefs function akin to genuine product experience beliefs with regard to their outcomes (product attitude valence and attitude strength), a finding we call the false experience effect. We further demonstrate two moderators of this effect–plausibility of past experience and evaluation timing.