False Memories May Help Control Drinking Behavior

Geo Beats

by Geo Beats

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Introducing false memories may be able to control drinking behavior.

One way to get people to drink less is to convince them that they had a bad time, or got sick from drinking alcohol.

A study from the University of California in Irvine took undergraduate college students and had them fill out a survey about their past eating and drinking habits.

When they showed the results of the survey to the subjects, with an added mention of getting sick from drinking, some of the subjects created a false memory.

Nearly 20 percent of the subjects developed a memory of something that never happened to them, and were more gullible if they started drinking earlier in their life.

The same test was applied to fatty foods, and afterwards the subjects were convinced that they had been sickened by the food in the past and didn’t want to eat it again.

One of the researchers said that it would be easier to implant a positive memory of drinking than a negative one, and some think it is unethical to convince people of false memories.