Can people develop false memories for committing aggressive acts? How does this process compare to developing false memories for victimhood? In the current research we used a simple false feedback procedure to implant false memories for committing aggressive acts (causing a black eye or spreading malicious gossip) or for victimhood (receiving a black eye). We then compared these false memories to other subjects' true memories for equivalent events. False aggressive memories were all too easy to implant, particularly in the minds of individuals with a proclivity towards aggression. Once implanted, the false memories were indistinguishable from true memories for the same events, on several dimensions, including emotional content. Implications for aggression-related memory more generally as well as false confessions are discussed.
- False memory