Your memories of the past, not to mention those past life
memories you cherish, could be influenced, if not created
by, stories you've read in the past. This fragility and
suggestibility of our memory system was demonstrated by a
University of Washington researcher team who found that
students' memories were easily influenced. After
interviewing students about whether or not as a child they
had ever been lost in a mall or picked on as a bully, they
invited those who said no to both items back for another
experiment involving "reading comprehension."
Among the reading material was a brief story about a child
being lost in a mall or being picked on by a bully, or
neither. When these students were interviewed later, and
asked again whether or not as a child they had ever had
these experiences, those students whose reading
"tests" included a story about one of those events
were significantly more likely to claim that they had had
such an experience themselves.
researchers suggest that we participate in stories we read,
and such participation becomes part of our archive of
experiences, easily confused with memories of actual events.