You were three years old and you remember that birthday party that you had. There were those purple birthday hats that the guests wore and you also remember that birthday cake with the teddy bear on it. There was also a clown at the party singing ‘happy birthday’ and that was the first memory that you had. Even though you don’t remember every detail of it, there are bits and pieces of it that are clear to you even though the rest of your memory is fuzzy. Of course, that would be the case because your long-term memory has not yet formed. However, you insist that was a real memory because you remember those few instances even though the rest of your memory of that was fuzzy.
However, are you sure you really remember that birthday party when you were three years old? Or are you piecing the image that you saw on the photograph of the birthday party together which is making you think it was a memory because you can envision it? You may insist that it is real since you remember being right there and even eating that teddy bear cake. And maybe it is a real memory. Just because your long-term memory doesn’t begin to form until later on in childhood doesn’t mean that you may have retained some bits and pieces of that event which ended up becoming engrained in your long-term memory. And yet, there is even a better chance, it is not. There is even a better chance that you fabricated it – not on purpose – but by looking at the picture of your party – you made yourself believe that you remembered the event by envisioning it. Why is there a chance you likely fabricated the memory? That is because a large percentage of people do that.
Four Out Of Ten Individuals Fabricates Their First Memories
Researchers conducted studies on young children and memories and they came up with that four out of ten individuals do fabricate their first memories. Even though children at the age of two can begin to store autobiographical memories, it usually becomes too fuzzy for them to remember anything distinct from them in their adulthood. That is because of the phenomenon known as childhood amnesia. It is slightly possible that you may remember things that happened as early as three years of age which is why there may be a chance that you are accurately remembering some events from that birthday party.
However, the hippocampus is more or less developed around the age of four which is when children can consistently remember things from four years of age onward. Even then when they reach adulthood, memories from that early on may end up becoming fuzzy. Your long-term memory matures a lot more from the ages of six to eight years of age is when you do begin to remember things that happened then in your adulthood. Therefore, if you remember something that happened in grade one, chances are it is an accurate memory for that reason.
However, if you remember something that happened when you were two or three, that is questionable. Maybe there is a chance there may be an element of truth to the memory, but there is likely an element of fabrication there. However, if you remember something that happened when you were 18 months old, then you definitely fabricated that memory thinking it was real. Therefore, the six out of ten individuals who did not fabricate their first memories would only remember hazy things that happened from the ages of two onward, more like four onward. Four out of ten individuals that fabricate their memories would have said they remembered something that happened when they were babies – but that just is not possible.