150213DoctorowFeb. 13, 2015

“Psychologists terminated a study (of 70 students at a Canadian university) that showed the ease of implanting false memories of committing terrible, violent crimes in the recent past – because some subjects couldn’t be convinced that they hadn’t committed the crime after they were told the truth.”

– From “Police interrogation techniques generate false memories of committing crimes” by Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing (Feb. 9)

More on this recent study from Sarah Barmak at the Toronto Star:

“If subjects said they couldn’t remember the false event, questioners reassured them they would be able to retrieve their ‘lost memories’ if they tried hard enough. If they began to ‘remember,’ experimenters asked for more detail. Do you recall any images? How did you feel? Visualize what it might have been like, they said, and the memory will come back to you….”

“Lost memories,” of course, were the fool’s gold mined so relentlessly by the prosecution therapists in the Little Rascals Day Care case. Remarkably, it took only three 40-minute sessions for the Canadian researchers to corrupt the memories of fully 70 percent of their college-age subjects – the Little Rascals children required months of implantation!