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Implanting False Memories May Help Dieters

Professor LoftusHere’s a study that’s guaranteed to set psychologists’ minds a-spinning with ethical issues. Professor Loftus (left) at the University of California managed to put participants off strawberry ice cream, pickles and hard-boiled eggs by implanting false childhood memories:

“In the strawberry ice cream experiment a group of students were asked to fill out forms about their food experiences and preferences. Some of the subjects were then given a computer analysis which falsely said they had become sick from eating strawberry ice cream as children. Almost 20% later agreed in a questionnaire that strawberry ice cream had made them sick and that they intended to avoid it in the future.”


About the author

Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.

He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:

Dr Dean’s bio, Twitter, Facebook and how to contact him.

Future studies plan to implant positive memories of fresh vegetables.
The Guardian

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