How To Change A Memory


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I have always seen shows that analyze the mind in many different ways, but this is form of rhetoric is very interesting to me. The ability to control a persons mind is something everyone wants, and according to this study the use of different words can change a memory. The study had the people view a car crash, then later describe the speed that the car was going. Depending on what words they used to describe the crash such as, "made contact with", or "smashed" the speed varied of the crash. These single words were able to change the persons memory of the crash. Another test they used was asking if there was glass broken during the crash, this was a sign of the severity of the crash.

This is a very interesting study because of how it was conducted. Not only was there an initial test done, but a more extensive one too. The study was conducted in the 70s and has been able to stand up to scrutiny of other scientists. Making this study seem extremely credible to me.

The main question is how useful is this. Do we subconsciously use this to help our argument, or do only true masters of language use this technique to persuade? To me I believe this is a technique that needs a lot of study to do it consciously, and do it well.Although everyone can do it subconsciously to some point. When we argue we try to twist words to make people side with us, but only true masters of language are able to do it at will and do it effectively. 

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Did this study discuss how it changed or affected the hipocampus at all or how the left prefrontal cortex reacted? Did they use a MRI machine during their study to see how the brain was reacting to these words? During studies dealing with memory substitution and suppression many doctors usually use MRI machines to see how these two parts of the brain react. A perfect example of where a study using an MRI to look at the brain and memories as well as how it reacted is this New York Times article about memory suppression and substitution. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/23/science/pushing-out-bad-memories.html

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