Think you're smart? Wait until you see the surprising results of the Memory test...
Think you have a good memory? This week, we've got an interactive experiment you can try at home to test your skills... Warning: the results are going to surprise you!
**Warning: do not read forward until after you've completed the experiment**
Did you get any false words? If so, you're not alone. More than 85% of subjects will get at least one false memory out of the two lists, and it's not because you did anything wrong... It turns out that study after study has shown that even when you're sure of a certain memory, the odds are good that you're remembering incorrectly.
In this case, each of the word lists are designed to take advantage of the brain's tendency to "fill in the gaps" when looking at a larger picture. In the first list, 65% of subjects will falsely remember the word "window", and 60% will falsely remember "doctor" in the second list. For your enjoyment, we're also including several alternate lists below, along with the statistical probability they'll remember a false word.
Now, what do you do with this? Anything you want. Just memorize two lists, and start messing with your friends, promising that your memory skills are much better than theirs. Use it as a game to break the ice at parties, or to have something to do with the girls. The first time I tried this experiment, I fell for BOTH false words, and the experience was unbelievable. Have fun!
Materials listed below are taken from: Stadler, M. A., Roediger, H. L. III, & McDermott, K. B. (1999). Norms for word lists that create false memories. Memory & Cognition, 27, 494-500.
|ANGER||mad, fear, hate, rage, temper, fury, ire, wrath, happy, fight, hatred, mean, calm, emotion, enrage|
|ARMY||Navy, soldier, United States, rifle, Air Force, draft, military, Marines, march, infantry, captain, war, uniform, pilot, combat|
|BLACK||white, dark, cat, charred, night, funeral, color, grief, blue, death, ink, bottom, coal, brown, gray|
|BREAD||butter, food, eat, sandwich, rye, jam, milk, flour, jelly, dough, crust, slice, wine, loaf, toast|
|CAR||truck, bus, train, automobile, vehicle, drive, jeep, Ford, race, keys, garage, highway, sedan, van, taxi|
|CHAIR||table, sit, legs, seat, couch, desk, recliner, sofa, wood, cushion, swivel, stool, sitting, rocking, bench|
|CITY||town, crowded, state, capital, streets, subway, country, New York, village, metropolis, big, Chicago, suburb, county, urban|
|COLD||hot, snow, warm, winter, ice, wet, frigid, chilly, heat, weather, freeze, air, shiver, Arctic, frost|
|CUP||mug, saucer, tea, measuring, coaster, lid, handle, coffee, straw, goblet, soup, stein, drink, plastic, sip|
|DOCTOR||nurse, sick, lawyer, medicine, health, hospital, dentist, physician, ill, patient, office, stethoscope, surgeon, clinic, cure|
|FLAG||banner, American, symbol, stars, anthem, stripes, pole, wave, raised, national, checkered, emblem, sign, freedom, pendant|
|FOOT||shoe, hand, toe, kick, sandals, soccer, yard, walk, ankle, arm, boot, inch, sock, knee, mouth|
|FRUIT||apple, vegetable, orange, kiwi, citrus, ripe, pear, banana, berry, cherry, basket, juice, salad, bowl, cocktail|
|GIRL||boy, dolls, female, young, dress, pretty, hair, niece, dance, beautiful, cute, date, aunt, daughter, sister|
|HIGH||low, clouds, up, tall, tower, jump, above, building, noon, cliff, sky, over, airplane, dive, elevate|
|KING||queen, England, crown, prince, George, dictator, palace, throne, chess, rule, subjects, monarch, royal, leader, reign|
|LION||tiger, circus, jungle, tamer, den, cub, Africa, mane, cage, feline, roar, fierce, bears, hunt, pride|
|MAN||woman, husband, uncle, lady, mouse, male, father, strong, friend, beard, person, handsome, muscle, suit, old|
|MOUNTAIN||hill, valley, climb, summit, top, molehill, peak, plain, glacier, goat, bike, climber, range, steep, ski|
|MUSIC||note, sound, piano, sing, radio, band, melody, horn, concert, instrument, symphony, jazz, orchestra, art, rhythm|
|NEEDLE||thread, pin, eye, sewing, sharp, point, prick, thimble, haystack, thorn, hurt, injection, syringe, cloth, knitting|
|PEN||pencil, write, fountain, leak, quill, felt, Bic, scribble, crayon, Cross, tip, marker, red, cap, letter|
|RIVER||water, stream, lake, Mississippi, boat, tide, swim, flow, run, barge, creek, brook, fish, bridge, winding|
|ROUGH||smooth, bumpy, road, tough, sandpaper, jagged, ready, coarse, uneven, riders, rugged, sand, boards, ground, gravel|
|RUBBER||elastic, bounce, gloves, tire, ball, eraser, springy, foam, galoshes, soles, latex, glue, flexible, resilient, stretch|
|SHIRT||blouse, sleeves, pants, tie, button, shorts, iron, polo, collar, vest, pocket, jersey, belt, linen, cuffs|
|SLEEP||bed, rest, awake, tired, dream, wake, snooze, blanket, doze, slumber, snore, nap, peace, yawn, drowsy|
|SLOW||fast, lethargic, stop, listless, snail, cautious, delay, traffic, turtle, hesitant, speed, quick, sluggish, wait, molasses|
|SMELL||nose, breathe, sniff, aroma, hear, see, nostril, whiff, scent, reek, stench, fragrance, perfume, salts, rose|
|SMOKE||cigarette, puff, blaze, billows, pollution, ashes, cigar, chimney, fire, tobacco, stink, pipe, lungs, flames, stain|
|SOFT||hard, light, pillow, plush, loud, cotton, fur, touch, fluffy, feather, furry, downy, kitten, skin, tender|
|SPIDER||web, insect, bug, fright, fly, arachnid, crawl, tarantula, poison, bite, creepy, animal, ugly, feelers, small|
|SWEET||sour, candy, sugar, bitter, good, taste, tooth, nice, honey, soda, chocolate, heart, cake, tart, pie|
|THIEF||steal, robber, crook, burglar, money, cop, bad, rob, jail, gun, villain, crime, bank, bandit, criminal|
|TRASH||garbage, waste, can, refuse, sewage, bag, junk, rubbish, sweep, scraps, pile, dump, landfill, debris, litter|
|WINDOW||door, glass, pane, shade, ledge, sill, house, open, curtain, frame, view, breeze, sash, screen, shutter|
If Harvard offered a PhD in deceit, this would be it. Award-winning magician Brian Brushwood takes viewers on an inside tour of bar tricks, street cons and scams. If you watch carefully, you'll never have to pay for a drink again!
Want the most recent episode of this show always up to date on your website? Use this self-updating embed code!