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Psychology Roundup

October 1, 2010

We can easily be fooled into thinking we’ve done something that we haven’t, according to a new study.

Transcript

Mistaken memories. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Seeing someone else do something may make us believe that we actually did it. That’s the result of a study reported in the journal Psychological Research. Volunteers viewed videos that showed people performing simple actions like shuffling a deck of cards or shaking a bottle. Two weeks later, many of the volunteers mistakenly thought that they themselves had performed the action. Surprisingly, the effect happened even when the scientists told the volunteers about it ahead of time.

In other psychology news, a study published in the journal Science demonstrates how scientists can measure brain maturity with an MRI scan. The scan reveals complexity of neural connections and that allows the researchers to estimate a person’s age. They hope that eventually, it will allow them to diagnose brain development problems. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.