Implanting Memory

When I was younger, my family and I would always go on vacations every November. One year when we were coming home, my parents and I got separated in the Philadelphia Airport. My dad and brother were going to the bathroom and I decided to go to as well. Thinking I could beat my dad and brother out of the bathroom, I didn’t tell my dad I was in there, but I told my mom I let my dad know I was going. Unfortunately I didn’t beat them out because men are unnaturally fast at going to the bathroom. When I was finished, I didn’t see my family, so I assumed my dad and brother were still in the bathroom. I was waiting outside the entrance probably for five minutes and was calling my dad’s name into the bathroom. A lady saw me calling for my dad and she asked me what his name was; she tried calling into the bathroom for my dad as well, but he didn’t answer and she told me she didn’t think he was in there. At this point, I was freaking out and started to cry. The lady was walking with me to help me find my family and the next thing I knew, I saw my parents coming down the escalator to find me. I remember being upset with my dad for forgetting me, and my mom was pretty upset with him as well. This is an example of an implanting memory because every time my family and I are in an airport, we always bring up this story. I was probably about eight or nine years old, and I believe I formed the details of this story through my parents. I’ve heard this story enough that I believe I created my thoughts during this event. It truly feels like I remember every detail of this situation, but since it happened so long ago I know now from psychology that it is highly unlikely.

3 thoughts on “Implanting Memory

  1. Andrew Michael Cirino

    This same type of occurrence has happened to me what seems like thousands of times. Memories that have been created by someone telling me the story over and over again, and I think that it is due to the stories for one main reason. When my Dad tells me the story, the story ends up being exactly how I remember it. The images in my head seem to match perfectly with what he says, and after all these years the odds of that happening if the memory is in fact real have to be very slim. As I get older and so does my Dad you would think that the story would not match what I remember happening at the time, but because my memory was created from what I’ve been told it matches perfectly.

  2. Taylor Cameron

    I completely agree with you on this! I remember my mom telling me a rather embarrassing memory she had of me when I was younger. I guess I was around the age of three when it happened- It involved me pooping behind my grandfather’s chair during dinner time and having the whole family just stop and stare. Honestly, prior to her telling me this, I had no recollection of the event every taking place. Now, whenever someone asks for me to tell them an embarrassing story, I always revert back to that one and tell it like I remember every detail. When you stop and think about it, the idea of implanting memories can be extremely scary. If people are consciously aware of this phenomenon, they could purposely tell you things that aren’t necessarily true and you will believe it. This could in turn impact your entire life pertaining to who you are and what you experienced at a young age. It’s a frightening topic!

  3. Cara Marie Barnes

    I feel the same way about stories my family always tells. I vaguely remember the event, but I don’t feel like all of the little details came from my own memory; they more than likely came from my family telling them over and over. It is strange because they do feel so real! My mom always tells me a story where I was three years old, and I feel like I remember it like it was yesterday, but that is obviously not the case. Hearing the details of the story so many times implants it right into your memory!

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