The phenomenon of false memories, especially source amnesia, has been in the news over the past few years. Here are just a few examples:James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces was a best-selling autobiographical book about his experiences in drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Ittopped the NY Times bestseller’s list for non-fiction. One problem — he never was in a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program.Herman Rosenblat’s autobiographical book Angel at the Fence is based on his experiences as a young boy in a Nazi concentration camp. There hemet a girl (she eventually became his wife) who regularly came to the barbed wire fence. One problem — historical documents show that thephysical layout of the camp and the regimen of the Nazi guards meant that such meetings were impossible.Richard Blumenthal, a two-term Attorney General for the State of Connecticut, claimed for almost 10 years that he had served in Vietnam as amember of a US Marine Reserve unit. One problem — he never left the Washington, DC area nor served in Vietnam. (He now serves as a U.S. Senatorfrom Connecticut.)David Relin wrote the best seller Three Cups of Tea about his efforts to build schools in remote Asian villages. In recent years critics raisedfactual discrepancies about his autobiographical book and his claims of charitable philanthropy. He died in November, 2012 at the age of 49years. According to his family, he “took his own life.”All of these people admitted to their “false memories” only after details were published by the news media.Similarly, the inaccuracy of memories by eyewitnesses was the basis for landmark rulings by the New Jersey Supreme Court. Ironically, the U.S.Supreme Court recently ruled that lying is a form of free speech protected by the U.S. Constitution.1. After a long preamble, finally the discussion board questions …. Why do people create false or inaccurate memories? Are these “real”memories from the person’s perspective or elaborate lies? Please explain.
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