How False Memories are Made
As much as our legal system depends on eye-witness testimonies, it is likely to be one of the more questionable sources for first-hand information. Why? Because humans can develop false memories, otherwise memories that never actually occurred.
How does this happen? This happens because we, as humans, have memory based on experiences. These experience could have happened at any time, either before, during or after the initial memory is formed. It happens when someone hears additional information or has a new experience, and then they end up using it to fill the gaps in their own memory. This is what’s called the formation of false memories. This happens more often to children as they have more gaps in their memory than adults, and that they can be easily convinced and led to make up imaginative stories regarding an incident.
Also, when it comes to eye-witness testimonies, police officers and other officials questioning the witnesses may use questions that lead the witnesses to reply with information that did not actually happen. These leading questions may botch an eye-witness report entirely, making it legally inaccurate.