Book Definition: A memory fault that occurs when memories are retrieved but are associated with the wrong time, place, or person. (pg 260)

** spelled ---> misattribution


History (Optional)


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In Your Own Words


  • Connecting fragments of information with the wrong context
  • Linking events with the wrong people or linking people with the wrong events
  • When you remember something in part but misattribute detail like time, place, or person involved.
  • The memory is correct but the details are wrong
  • You remember the occurrence and event, but associate what happened with the wrong person, place, etc.
  • Misattribution can cause people to believe mistakenly that other people's ideas are their own.
  • To "attribute" the wrong details to a specific event.

Examples/Functions


  • Calling someone the wrong name because they look like someone else.
  • Remembering an event that occurred in school, while asking your friend about the event when she wasn't really there.
  • Remembering a time when you were little and you could have sworn your little brother pushed you and made you knock over the lamp, when really you are the one who pushed him.
  • Confusing two different teachers who work in the same department.
  • Mixing up two peoples' names in a story because they were both there and had an equal influence on the situation.
  • "Omg Marissa do you remember that one time that Mr. Jones started dancing on his table during class? And then we laughed for like 30 minutes!" "Uh, no that wasn't me." "Yes it was." "No, that must have been one of your other friends." "Oh, nevermind."
  • When you saw a spider and you were all like "Aaaah spider" and the spiders all like "Aaaah kyle" but then you remember it wasn't a real spider, it was just the world's smallest hamster, PeeWee.
  • Accusing someone of doing something, when in reality it was someone else.
  • Thinking you bought a blue shirt when you were with your friend, but instead it was actually with your mom
  • When musicians unintentionally plagiarize a song that they have previously heard.
  • Mixing up my mom and my aunt's birthdays
  • Asking someone about an event that they weren't there to witness
  • When learning about pi in math and thinking about food instead of the number, 3.14

Additional Resources


  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1088522/