Your Mind Playing Tricks on You

Think you have a good memory? Put your brain to the test with this psychology experiment. Listen to 24 sentences read out loud to you, then see if you can correctly remember what you heard.

This classic psychology experiment put together by Daniel Reisberg shows how easy it is to create false memories. Wanna try it out on your friends? First read out loud these 24 sentences:


The girl broke the window on the porch. The tree in front of the yard shaded the man who was smoking his pipe. The hill was steep. The cat, running from the barking dog, jumped on the table. The tree was tall. The old car climbed the hill. The cat, running from the dog, jumped on the table. the girl who lives next door broke the window on the porch. The car pulled the trailer. The scared cat was running from the barking dog. The girl lives next door. The tree shaded the man who was smoking the pipe. The scared cat jumped on the table. The girl who lives next door broke the large window. The man was smoking his pipe. The old car climbed the steep hill. The large window was on the porch. The tall tree was in the front yard. The car, pulling the trailer, climbed the steep hill. The cat jumped on the table. The tall tree in the front yard shaded the man. The car, pulling the trailer, climbed the hill. The dog was barking. The window was large.


Then give them a pop quiz by reading out loud this second set of sentences and keep track of how many they say are "new" or "repeat:"


The car climbed the hill. The girl who lives next door broke the window. The old man who was smoking his pipe climbed the steep hill. The tree was in the front yard. The scared cat, running from the barking dog, jumped on the table. The window was on the porch. The barking dog jumped on the old car in the front yard. The tree in the front yard shaded the man. The cat was running from the dog. The old car pulled the trailer. The tall tree in the front yard shaded the old car. The tall tree shaded the man who was smoking his pipe. The scared cat was running from the dog. The old car, pulling the trailer, climbed the hill. The girl who lives next door broke the large window on the porch.


Here's the trick - the second set of sentences are ALL new! But most people won't realize that because rely on the scenes created in their heads rather than the actual words they heard. You'd be surprised how many people you can fool with this memory test!