Brian Williams-Like "False Memories" Are Common

If we all lived under the intense scrutiny to which we are currently subjecting national news anchor Brian Williams, each of us would be discredited, say neuroscientists who study memory.

If we all lived under the intense scrutiny to which we are currently subjecting national news anchor Brian Williams, each of us would be discredited, say neuroscientists who study how memories behave in the mind.


While personalities like Rosie O’Donnell compare Williams to Lance Armstrong and quip that, "I think you would know if you were in a helicopter that was actually hit by a missile," understanding how memories work offers a different context.

To be sure, public personae are and should be held to a higher standard because, especially in the field of journalism, truth-telling is paramount. As former ABC News head David Westin explains, nobody, absolutely nobody, is above the truth:

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