Even the most cherish, vivid childhood memories could be false, research from the University of Hull suggests.
It seems ‘non-believed’ memories are more frequent than expected, with 20% of the 1,600 students questioned reporting at least one memory that didn’t take place. In some instances, it’s through parents or siblings that they’ve realised the memory didn’t happen. In other cases, the memory is of an event that’s so implausible it just couldn’t have happened, such as seeing a living dinosaur, reports the Daily Mail.
Most of the fictional memories took place between the ages of 4 and 8 years.
“Autobiographical memory provides us with a sense of identity and it is usually accurate enough to help us negotiate our lives,’ said researcher Professor Giuliana Mazzoni, from the University of Hull’s psychology department.
“But as our study shows, not all that we remember about our past is true. Our research also shows that this phenomenon of non-believed memories is much more frequent than people had imagined.
“Crucially, if these memories are not challenged by some form of evidence, they would still be considered part of the individual’s autobiographical experience.”