False memories for political scandals in Ireland’s abortion referendum

How accurate is your memory for political events?

Dr. Ciara Greene, along with Dr. Gillian Murphy at University College Cork worked with TheJournal.ie to investigate false memories for political scandals during the recent referendum to repeal the 8th amendment to the Irish constitution. Over 3000 participants completed the study. We found that people tend to form false memories in line with their existing beliefs and convictions – specifically, we found that Yes voters ‘remembered’ a fabricated scandal about the No campaign, while No voters remembered a similar fake scandal about the Yes campaign. This research was conducted in collaboration with Prof. Elizabeth Loftus, Prof. Linda Levine and Ms Rebecca Hoffstein-Grady at the University of California, Irvine.

A paper describing this study will be published soon; in the mean time, you can read about it here or check out the video below.


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