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About this Research Topic

Abstract Submission Deadline 31 January 2023
Manuscript Submission Deadline 30 April 2023

The fallibility of memory has been often demonstrated. A plethora of studies has focused on external influences that can affect memory reports, such as suggestive questioning. Adopting different paradigms (e.g., misinformation, memory conformity), the recurrent pattern of findings of these studies is that suggestion can make people prone to falsely recall details that were never experienced (i.e., commission errors, false details). In addition, suggestion can make them unable to recall truly experienced events or event-related details. However, internal influences can also affect memory. One such internal influence is deception. In the last decade, several studies have investigated how memory can be affected by deception. Specifically, these studies have shown that a person who has intentionally deceived the listener about an experienced event, subsequently when the person comes forward with the truth shows an impaired memory for such an event. This line of research examined the detrimental effects on memory by taking into account different strategies to deceive (e.g., false denials, feigned amnesia, and fabrication) and found that the memory outcomes due to deception can vary based on the strategy used to deceive. A number of studies has also demonstrated that another type of deception - known as self-deception - can influence our memory. This strategy relies on the act of deceiving our own selves and seems to reduce the recall of negative memories.

The understanding of the effects of external (e.g., suggestion) and internal (e.g., deception, self-deception) on memory is important, not only in order to gain more fundamental information on how memory works, but also because of the relevance of memory functioning within the legal context. Memory distortions, for example, inaccurate eyewitness testimony, can lead to impactful legal decisions, such as wrongful convictions. Several studies have underlined the harmful consequences of distorted statements. Additional support is found in databases from various worldwide associations who strive to obtain fair justice for people involved in wrongful convictions cases (for instance, www.innocenceproject.org). Therefore, it is important that researchers continue to provide evidence on the mnemonic impact of internal and external factors that influence legal practitioners to help avoid miscarriages of justice.

The aim of the present Research Topic is to collect manuscripts that provide innovative findings and insights into how internal and external influences can impact memory. We welcome manuscripts addressing different aspects of the topic, such as:
- the influence of internal factors on children’s and adults’ memory
- the influence of external factors on children’s and adults’ memory
- the link between internal and external factors on their mnemonic impact
- the mechanisms behind the impact of internal and/or external factors on memory
- the practical forensic relevance of studies on the impact of internal and/or external factors on memory

In addition, we encourage manuscripts on the generalization of findings on this topic to real-life settings as well as studies adopting innovative paradigms. Hence, Original Research and Review articles are welcomed.

Keywords: Internal Influences, External Influences, Forgetting, Memory Distortions, False Memories


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The fallibility of memory has been often demonstrated. A plethora of studies has focused on external influences that can affect memory reports, such as suggestive questioning. Adopting different paradigms (e.g., misinformation, memory conformity), the recurrent pattern of findings of these studies is that suggestion can make people prone to falsely recall details that were never experienced (i.e., commission errors, false details). In addition, suggestion can make them unable to recall truly experienced events or event-related details. However, internal influences can also affect memory. One such internal influence is deception. In the last decade, several studies have investigated how memory can be affected by deception. Specifically, these studies have shown that a person who has intentionally deceived the listener about an experienced event, subsequently when the person comes forward with the truth shows an impaired memory for such an event. This line of research examined the detrimental effects on memory by taking into account different strategies to deceive (e.g., false denials, feigned amnesia, and fabrication) and found that the memory outcomes due to deception can vary based on the strategy used to deceive. A number of studies has also demonstrated that another type of deception - known as self-deception - can influence our memory. This strategy relies on the act of deceiving our own selves and seems to reduce the recall of negative memories.

The understanding of the effects of external (e.g., suggestion) and internal (e.g., deception, self-deception) on memory is important, not only in order to gain more fundamental information on how memory works, but also because of the relevance of memory functioning within the legal context. Memory distortions, for example, inaccurate eyewitness testimony, can lead to impactful legal decisions, such as wrongful convictions. Several studies have underlined the harmful consequences of distorted statements. Additional support is found in databases from various worldwide associations who strive to obtain fair justice for people involved in wrongful convictions cases (for instance, www.innocenceproject.org). Therefore, it is important that researchers continue to provide evidence on the mnemonic impact of internal and external factors that influence legal practitioners to help avoid miscarriages of justice.

The aim of the present Research Topic is to collect manuscripts that provide innovative findings and insights into how internal and external influences can impact memory. We welcome manuscripts addressing different aspects of the topic, such as:
- the influence of internal factors on children’s and adults’ memory
- the influence of external factors on children’s and adults’ memory
- the link between internal and external factors on their mnemonic impact
- the mechanisms behind the impact of internal and/or external factors on memory
- the practical forensic relevance of studies on the impact of internal and/or external factors on memory

In addition, we encourage manuscripts on the generalization of findings on this topic to real-life settings as well as studies adopting innovative paradigms. Hence, Original Research and Review articles are welcomed.

Keywords: Internal Influences, External Influences, Forgetting, Memory Distortions, False Memories


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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