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Running head: FALSE MEMORIES AND OLDER ADULTS 1
Older Adults Experience More False Memories Compared to
Other Age Groups
Amanda Sinclair 11036772
University of Saskatchewan
Psychology 255.3 61: Human Memory
3 November 2013
FALSE MEMORIES AND OLDER ADULTS 2
Proclamation
In submitting this paper, I attest that this paper, and any version
of this paper, has not previously
or concurrently been submitted for credit in another course by
myself or anyone else.
FALSE MEMORIES AND OLDER ADULTS 3
Abstract
Compared to other age groups (e.g. child, teenager, young
adult) older adults experience a
greater amount of false memories. This was shown in
Fandakova, Shing, and Lindenberg (2013)
with the use of proactive interference. In Jacoby, Bishara,
Hessels, & Toth (2005) retroactive
interference was used to create false memories in young and
older adults resulting in higher false
memories for older adults. Shing, Werkle-Bergner, Li, &
Lindenberger (2009) found that not
only did older adults have a greater amount of false memories
but were also disproportionately
more confident in their false memories than children. A
neurological study done by Dennis, Kim,
& Cabeza (2008) found that, compared to young adults, older
adults showed both a reduction in
true memories and an increase in false memories. It was also
shown that a neurological
explanation could be found for the age difference in false
memories. In summary, modern
research shows clear evidence in support of older adults having
a greater proportion of false
memories than other age groups.
FALSE MEMORIES AND OLDER ADULTS 4
Older Adults Have More False Memories Than Other Age
Groups
Recent research has shown that the likelihood of remembering
false events increases as a
person ages, this paper aims to flush out this research and find a
clear correlation between age
and false memories. False memories, erroneously remembering
episodes that did not occur, have
been an area of interest since Elizabeth Loftus created the “Lost
in the Mall” technique in 1994.
This technique involved Loftus implanting a false memory into
a child of being lost in a mall at a
younger age (Loftus, 1995). At that point it was thought that
only children were susceptible to
false memories (then said to be repressed memories) and not
adults. Since then it has been shown
that not only do children create false memories, and are
susceptible to implantation, but also
young and older adults (Lindsay, Hagen, Read, Wade, & Garry,
2004). For example, Wade,
Garry, Read, & Lindsay (2002) successfully implanted a false
memory of being in a hot air
balloon as a child into twenty subjects whose age ranged from
18-28.
Recently, researchers have begun studying age related
differences and changes in false
memories between age groups (Anastasi & Rhodes, 2008;
Brainerd & Reyna, 2002; Norman &
Schacter, 1997; Tun, Wingfield, Rosen, & Blanchard, 1998).
Early research found an inversed
bell curve when comparing false memories to age, meaning that
children were just as likely as
older adults to have false memories and young adults were least
likely (Tun et al. 1998).
However, more recent research is finding that older adults are
more likely to have false
memories compared to all other age groups (Anastasi & Rhodes,
2008). One study found that
older adults were ten times more likely to have false memories
than young adults (Jacoby,
Bishara, Hessels, & Toth, 2005). The purpose of this paper will
be to show that compared to
other age groups older adults (ages 60+) have increased false
memories which can be caused by
proactive interference, retroactive interference, overconfidence
in their memories, and
FALSE MEMORIES AND OLDER ADULTS 5
neurological differences. Due to these factors older adults are at
a heightened risk for
erroneously remembering episodes that did not occur.
Support for Thesis
Proactive Interference and False Memories
In early studies false memories were successfully implanted in
children and adults after
repeated sessions of remembering (Loftus & Rickrell, 1995;
Wade et al., 2002). These false
memories seemed to take a long time to build within subjects.
However, Fandakova, Shing, and
Lindenberg (2013) show that it is possible to create false
memories quickly and for recent events
in both children and adults by using proactive interference.
Proactive interference is when earlier
memories disrupt the retrieval of more recent memories
(Baddeley, Eysenck, & Anderson,
2010). Fandakova et al. (2013) tested the differences in false
memory across three age groups:
children (10-12), young adults (20-27), and older adults (68-
76). Twenty participants from each
category were selected from a university community and all
were native German speakers. The
selected older adults reported no major health issues and were
screened for cognitive
impairments with the Mini Mental State Examination
(Fandakova et al.). A baseline comparison
was created by assessing participants’ perceptual speed and
crystallized intelligence, and then
equating these age differences. Participants were then
familiarized with paired words (e.g. Drum
Clock) and performed three runs of a repeated continuous
recognition task (Fandakova et al.). A
continuous recognition task is when study and test phases are
not separated, items are
continuously presented and the participant is instructed to
respond either with ‘old’ if seen before
or ‘new’ if the item is presented for the first time (“Continuous
recognition task,” n.d.). After
each run participants were instructed to forget all previous
paired words and being the second
trial fresh (Fandakova et al.). In the beginning of a trail when
“Drum Clock” appeared a correct
FALSE MEMORIES AND OLDER ADULTS 6
response would be ‘new’, however, participants may say ‘old’
falsely remembering “Drum
Clock” having already been presented when in actuality their
memory is of the previous trial.
Across runs, false recognition of lure pairs (Drum Clock) was
greater in older adults than in
children or young adults. This shows that older adults,
compared to both children and young
adults, have a higher likelihood of having erroneous memories
of recent events due to proactive
interference. This is consistent with a study done by Hasher,
Chung, May, and Foong (2002)
which found that older adults were more vulnerable to proactive
interference than young adults.
Retroactive Interference and False Memories
As with proactive interference, retroactive interference has a
greater effect on older adults
than young adults (Hedden & Park, 2003). Retroactive
interference is when recent memories
disrupt the retrieval of earlier memories (Baddeley, Eysenck, &
Anderson, 2010). Also like
proactive interference, retroactive interference can create false
memories as shown by Jacoby
and colleagues (2005) in their three separate studies of age
differences in false memories. For
each experiment participants were collected via flyers and
participant pools at Washington
University and divided into two groups, 24 young adults (ages
18-27) and 24 older adults (ages
64-87) (Jacoby et al.). To create a baseline comparison in age
groups, reading speed and levels of
education were equated between age groups and larger font
along with extra study time was used
for older adults. For all three experiments, participants were
given a list of associatively related
paired words (Knee Bend or Knee Bone) to study prior to
testing.
First age comparison.
For the first experiment the test phase consisted of presentation
of a prime word which
was either a studied word (Bend), non-studied word (Bone), or
neutral non-word, all of which
FALSE MEMORIES AND OLDER ADULTS 7
participants were instructed to ignore (Jacoby et al., 2005). This
presentation of a non-studied
word was aimed to create retroactive interference for the
studied list. A word fragment was then
presented (e.g. Knee B_n_) and participants were asked to
complete the fragment with their
studied words. Response of a studied word (Bend) indicated no
false memories while response of
the presented non-studied word (Bone) indicated false memories
due to retroactive interference.
After completion of the fragment participants were asked to
report their memory by indicating
the basis for their response as either “remember”, “familiar”, or
“guess” (Jacoby et al.). A
“remember” report meant that they recalled specific details of
studying the item, “familiar”
meant the participant recalled that the word was on the list but
did not recall specific details
about studying it, and “guess” meant they were purely guessing.
Older adults were ten times
more likely to fill in the word fragment with the non-studied
word than young adults (Jacoby et
al.). This shows that older adults are more susceptible to
retroactive interference than young
adults and as a result had a greater amount of false memories.
Older adults were also much more
likely to report their memories as “remember” than young
adults. This indicates that young
adults may be more skeptical of their memory than older adults.
Second age comparison.
For the second experiment Jacoby et al. (2005) repeated their
test, but this time without
memory report and with the ability to pass on the question if a
completion word could not be
remembered. Compared to experiment one, young adults showed
fewer false memories, whereas
older adults had the same amount. Older adults were also less
likely to use the pass option to
reduce evidence of false memories (Jacoby et al.). This shows
that false memories in older adults
are not caused by an external demand to remember. It also
shows that older adults are less likely
to take advantage of options that could limit evidence of false
memories. This adds support to the
FALSE MEMORIES AND OLDER ADULTS 8
idea that older adults are less likely to doubt their own
memories leading to not only an increase
in false memories but also an increased confidence in those
memories.
Third age comparison.
The third experiment was carried out much like the first, but in
this case a recognition test
was used rather than a cue-recall test. The recognition test
consisted of the presentation of a
prime word followed by two pairs of words (e.g., Knee Bone
and Knee Bend) separated by a
large gap. Participants were instructed to choose the pair that
had been studied and give a
memory report (Jacoby et al., 2005). The use of a recognition
test reduced false memories in
both age groups however the difference between age groups was
still significant (Jacoby et al.).
An important finding was that the recognition test dramatically
reduced older adult’s false
memories compared to cued-recall. This shows that the chance
of having a retroactively induced
false memory can be improved if the context in which the
memory is presented relies on
recognition rather than recall. Nevertheless, even when the
recognition test was used older adults
still had more false memories than any other age group.
Overconfidence in Memories
As shown in Jacoby et al. (2005) young adults were more likely
to be skeptical of their
memories and take advantage of non-report compared to older
adults. This finding is also
supported by a study which found that older adults were
disproportionately more confident in
their false memories than children (Shing, Werkle-Bergner, Li,
& Lindenberger, 2009). Shing
and colleagues’ lifespan sample consisted of 170 residents of
Berlin, Germany which were
separated into four age groups: 43 children (age 10-12), 43
teenagers (age 13-15), 42 young
adults (age 20-25), and 42 older adults (age 70-75). An
associative recognition memory task was
FALSE MEMORIES AND OLDER ADULTS 9
used to test subjects on studied word pairs. This test was similar
to the continuous recognition
task explained earlier except that Sing et al. added word pairs of
a German word with its Malay
translation. This allowed Sing et al. to have lists of two German
paired words (GG) or one
German word and a Malay word (GM). The reason for this was
due to GG pairs demanding more
associative processing than the GM pairs (Sing et al.).
Participants were also instructed to find a
meaningful connection between the GM pairs through either
phonological or orthographic
characteristics. This associated imagery helped link the GM
pairs together through what is
known as the keyword strategy (Sing et al.). Older adults
showed significantly more “sure”
responses after a false memory for both GM and GG pairs than
any other age group, including
children. This significantly heightened confidence compared to
children was surprising, since
older adults performed the memory task at a similar level to
children. The use of the keyword
strategy improved all participants’ performance across age
groups. However, the elaborative
imagery (keyword strategy) did not reduce age differences in
false memories nor did it affect
older adult’s high-confidence in false memories (Sing et al.).
This once again shows that even
when given strategies to reduce false memories older adults still
have more false memories than
any other age group while also having a high-confidence in
those memories. Sing and colleagues
close by postulating that older adult’s high-confidence error
may be due to hippocampal decline.
Neurological Differences
Using fMRI’s Dennis, Kim, & Cabeza (2008) set out to
discover if there was a
neurological explanation to why older adults tend to have more
false memories. To test age
effects Dennis et al. used fMRI and a false memory task similar
to the Deese-Roediger-
McDermott (DRM) paradigm. The DRM paradigm is a
procedure involving participants’ study
of a semantically similar word list (e.g. stove, microwave,
fridge) and then participants recall as
FALSE MEMORIES AND OLDER ADULTS 10
many words from the list as possible. Typical results show
subjects recalling a related word (e.g.
kitchen) that was not present on the list. When subjects are
asked about the non-studied word
many will report they remember studying it, which indicates a
false memory (Roediger &
McDermott, 1995). Dennis et al. (2008) found that, compared to
young adults, older adults
showed both a reduction in true memories and an increase in
false memories. This once again
supports the claim that false memories are more prominent in
older adults. The study also found
that older adults exhibited a decrease in hippocampal activity.
This hippocampal reduction
indicated that older adults are impaired in retrieval of item-
specific details which depends on the
hippocampus. During false memory retrieval older adults
exhibited an increased activity in the
retrosplenial cortex and left middle temporal gyrus which is
related to semantic processing.
These findings are consistent with fuzzy trace theory which
postulates that older adults’ have a
greater reliance on semantic gist (the central idea) (Brainerd, &
Reyna, 2002; Dennis et al., 2008;
Gutchess & Schacter, 2012). This reliance on gist based criteria
requires older adults to take an
educated guess at information that is not immediately available
for recall. These educated
guesses then become encoded as false memories as evidenced by
increased activity in the left
middle temporal gyrus during retrieval (Dennis et al., 2008).
Then, at retrieval when an older
adults recalls a false memory it is not recognized as an
erroneous memory and the older adult is
more likely to be confident in that memory being a true
memory. These findings along with
Fuzzy trace theory, regarding age-related increases in semantic
gist, give further evidence that
older adults have greater false memories than any other age
groups.
Conclusion
The existence of false memories is a well-established area of
study and modern research
supports the idea that older adults experience more false
memories than any other age groups.
FALSE MEMORIES AND OLDER ADULTS 11
False memory age effects have been replicated in many
different cultures such as America,
Germany, and Britain (Fandakova et al., 2013; Jacoby et al.,
2005; Shing et al., 2009).
Fandakova et al. (2013) found that proactive interference caused
greater false memories in older
adults than children or young adults. Jacoby and colleagues
(2005) found this same age effect
with retroactive interference. It is important to note that
recognition tests reduced but did not
eliminate the age effect. They also noted that older adults are
less likely to take advantage of
options that could limit evidence of false memories. It was
noted that this could be due to older
adults being overconfident in their false memories (Jacoby et
al.). This overconfidence was
confirmed by Shing et al. (2009) who showed that older adults
had significantly heightened
confidence compared to children who performed the memory
task at a similar level. Finally,
Dennis, Kim, & Cabeza (2008) showed an age effect regarding
false memories can be seen using
fMRI, so the increased false memories in older adults was not
due to errors in report. It was
noted that all these findings are consistent with fuzzy trace
theory and show a clear positive
correlation in false memories and age.
A possible explanation for the increased false memories in older
adults is that misinformation
effects are larger when memory for the original event is poor
(Jacoby et al., 2005). This would
account for false memories of long past events, however, it was
shown that false memories were
more prominent in older adults even if the event was very
recent (Fandakova at al., 2013;
Jacoby et al., 2005). A more probable explanation was given by
Dennis and colleagues (2008)
who found increased false memories in older adults through use
of fMRI. Hippocampal
reduction indicates age-related deficits in recollection, whereas
the increase in retrosplenial
activity reveals compensation of alternative recollection-related
regions.
FALSE MEMORIES AND OLDER ADULTS 12
This finding that older adults are more susceptible to false
memories suggests that there is
reason to worry about older adults being more vulnerable to
scams (Jacoby et al., 2005). For
example, one scam involves a plumber attempting to overcharge
an older adult by claiming they
quoted the older adult X dollars (a much higher price than
actually quoted) and that they agreed
to pay. The scam is effective if the individual remembers
discussing a price and agreeing to pay
but falsely remembering the X dollars as opposed to the actual
quote (Jacoby et al.). Another
implication is that older adults could be at a disadvantage when
driving. It was shown by
Fandakova, Shing, and Lindenberg (2013) that false memories
could be created very quickly in
participants. If an older adult has an increased chance of having
false memories about where cars
or pedestrians are or are not they would have an increased
likelihood of getting into an accident
thus endangering their life and others.
A goal of future research could be focused on longitudinal
studies of false memories to
monitor whether or not false memories have cohort effects.
Also, most researchers examining
age related false memories have focused on creating false
memories for recent events. Future
research should investigate the age difference in induced
memories similar to Loftus (1995) lost
in the mall and Wade and colleagues (2002) hot air balloon ride.
FALSE MEMORIES AND OLDER ADULTS 13
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Planning Foundation Worksheet
Section 1 (We are…)
· What type of organization are you?
· What is the purpose of your organization?
· What do you want to accomplish as an organization?
· Why are you doing this?
· What are key messages or phrases that describe your
organization?
Section 2 (We do…)
· What is your primary offering (product, service, message)?
· What is the primary function of your offering?
· Is the offering used with other offerings?
· What led you to develop this offering?
· List the top three objections to your offering?
· What is your pricing versus competition?
· What promotional plans do you have for your offering?
What are key messages or phrases that describe your offering?
Section 3 (For…)
· Who are your target customers?
· What groups do you target?
· What do you want your target to do?
Section 4 (Against: )
· Who are your organization’s direct competitors?
· Why do you consider these to be competitors?
· How is your organization different from those of its
competitors?
· What do you plan to do to succeed against your competitors?
Section 5 (With: )
· Who are your organization’s partners or allies?
· Why do you consider these to be your partners or allies?
· What do you plan to do to leverage these alliances to
accomplish the objectives of your organization?
Section 6 (We are better because…)
· Why should someone buy your offering and not someone
else’s?
Section 7 (Our environment is…)
· What are some of the internal strengths of the organization?
· What are some of the internal weaknesses of the organization?
· What are some of the organization’s external opportunities?
· What are some of the organization’s external threats?
Value Proposition (Elevator Pitch);
Formula
We are (X), we do (Y) for (Z) by doing (A, B, C) against (1, 2,
3). We’re different because (D, E, F) People should select our
offering over others because (Q, R, S).
Your Elevator Pitch
TIP:
• Use your answers to the Planning Questions Table to draft
an elevator pitch that helps others understand what sets your
organization apart and why prospects should select your
organization over others.
• Keep it simple, just fill in the blanks of the “formula”
column.
Running head: AN EVOLUTIONARY ADAPTATION
1
AN EVOLUTIONARY ADAPTATION
4
Religion: An Evolutionary Adaptation
Name Comment by Microsoft Office User: Friendly
reminder to insert your name after
Institutional Affiliation Comment by Microsoft Office User:
Fill this in.
Religion: An Evolutionary Adaptation
Evolutionary scientists argue differently as todisagree about
whether or not religion is an evolutionary adaptation or not.
Whereas some believe that religious behaviors are the by-
product of the evolved cognitive brain functions, some argue
that it could have evolved alongside the verifiable knowledge.
Thus, there has been an ongoing debate concerning this subject
to date. In this discussion, the evidence in support of religion as
an evolutionary adaptation has been shared. A total of fFive
articles have been used in this discussionare reviewed in this
paper. First, is thean article on economic theory of religious
participation; second is the article on the theory about how
religious behaviors have risen to provide a solution to a
particular human need; third is the article on the argument on
the individual with mystic experiences; forth is the article on
the differences that exists between the primates and
homosapiens; and fifth is the article on the role of religion in
the evolution of humanity. Thereafter, how the results of these
studies support the argument that religion is an evolutionary
adaptation has been shown. Comment by Microsoft Office
User: This part is wordy/hard to follow. Comment by Microsoft
Office User: Be more direct in conveying your message here.
Comment by Microsoft Office User: I would try to focus
more on the major themes you’ll discuss rather than listing what
each paper talks about.
One of the theories that support that religion is an evolutionary
adaptation is the Costly Signaling Theory. By analyzing the
traditions, regulations, rules, and rituals of the 19th century in
United States communes, the authors Sosis and Bressler (2003)
found many examples that supported the Costly Signaling
Theory of Religion (2003). In According to this theory, it is
asserted that religion is a behavior that costs too much in order
to fake it (Sosis & Bressler, 2003). It further holds that
religious taboos and rituals can promote the intra-group
cooperation that, in essence, is an adaptive benefit of religion
and that the significant energy, time, and financial costs
involved in the imitation of the ritual obviously deters anyone
who is an unbeliever of the teachings of that particular religion
in question (2003). Thus, it is clear that religion is considered
to have developed in order to place humanity at a better chance
of survival. In other words, selective pressures are believed to
have shaped the human belief systems and favored religion to
promote cooperation (2003). Thus, the intra-group cooperation
brought to the communities the benefits such as defense, food
sharing, cooperative hunting, medical care, and warfare.
Considering what happens during the cognitive mental functions
in performing a religious act, it is right to deduce that these
examples have to do with religion. Hence, it can be confidently
affirmedargued that religion is an evolutionary adaptation.
Another theory in that supports of religion as an evolutionary
adaptation is by Peter Lachmann, who conducted a study on the
different cultural and dietary prescriptions exhibited by
different religions and then discusses how religious beliefs can
be detrimental should there be a change in their environment.
Lachmann theorizes that religious behaviors have risen to
provide a solution to a particular human need. Under this
theory, it is asserted that religion has evolved over time “to
maintain those important aspects of human behavior, where
variation is found among different human groups” (2010, p. x).
Factually, religion acts universally across the society whenever
challenges arise thus aiding in finding a solution to the
problem. Just like the Costly Signaling Theory, Lachmann’s
theory gives a more in-depth explanation of how religion has
proven to be the evolutionary adaptation.Comment by Microsoft
Office User: Begin a new sentence here.
Another evidence piece of evidence that in supports of religion
as an evolutionary adaptation is Todd Murphy’s theory. The
study was conducted to find out the scientific perspective of the
effects of religion on the human brain. Under this theory, it is
argued that “all humans have the neural pathways supporting
mystic experiences, but only a small part of our population
experiences them” (2010). What Murphy (2010) implies in this
argument is that individuals who are considered as mystics can
show multiple perspectives which are expressed or displayed
during a collective decision-making process of which can
improve a group’s survival chances in times of opportunities
and threats. Since a mystic’s unusual perspective is the source
for all the varying personality types existing in modern society,
it is no doubt seems likely that religion is an evolutionary
adaptation.
Maurice Bloch’s argument is another discussion which can be
used to support the religion-as-an-adaptation debate. His study
aimed at finding out the differences that exist between human
sociality and the other primates. Under this argument, Bloch
(2008) discusses the major differences that exist between the
primates and homosapiens in general and shows why religion is
an evolutionary adaptation. He first points out that religion and
imagination development is what distinguishes human beings
from other primates. According to Bloch (2008), even though
the social organizations of the chimpanzee are very complex,
these creatures do not exhibit anything resembling religion. He
further explains that both the homo sapiens and chimpanzees
exhibit a process of continual assertions, manipulation, and
defeats but only homo sapiens exhibit essentialized roles and
groups. Comment by Microsoft Office User: I would
recommend re-reading your paper to reduce wordiness. See my
edits as examples.
According to Bloch (2008), only homo sapiens can perform
multiple roles and positions within society and take those roles
off if they feel there is a need (2008). Therefore, if homosapiens
could not possess the adaptation of religious thought, behavior,
and belief, it would not be possible for human beings to come to
this far. It is evident that by allowing for confusing and
unexplainable things to be acceptable in everyday society, it is
the religion that has taught humanity to have different
perspectives when looking at this world.
The religion-as-an-evolutionary adaptation is also supported by
Sanderson who provides different lines of evidence showing
how religion has aided in the evolution of humanity. The study
discussed the attributes of religion as an evolutionary
adaptation. Sanderson (2008) explains that religion is an
evolutionary adaption because of the potential fitness benefits it
brings to an individual, and due to the original religious group –
the Shaman –who provided different services which helped the
community to survive better. Thus Anderson (2008) mentions
that the Shaman, the oldest religion, was universal and was
mainly aimed at fulfilling crucial human goals like curing
illnesses and finding and protecting vital resources. They
provided many different services, becoming a necessity for
different communities who wanted to survive. Thus, Shamanism
has played an important role in the evolution of human
consciousness, thus shaping the cognitive functions in the
hypnotized individual who experiences the religious state.
Therefore, the role of Shaman in evolving human consciousness
is seen in soul fight, visionary perceptions, animistic beliefs,
and death-rebirth experiences (2008). It is no doubt that these
universal adaptations are derived from the systemic integration
of functions of the brain, thus making them neurognostic
structures that provide experiences of adapting to the
operational environment.
In conclusion, the pieces of evidence in support of religion as
an evolutionary adaptation show that an evolutionary adaptation
has evolved in species because it gives benefits which ensure
survival for groups and individuals. The Costly Signaling
Theory of Religion proves religion as an evolutionary
adaptation by asserting that religious behavior costs too much in
order to fake it and that the significant energy, time, and
financial costs that are involved in the imitation of the ritual
obviously deters anyone from easily faking it. Additionally, it is
asserted that religion has evolved over time since it has played a
major role in helping communities to maintain important human
behavior aspects, especially where variation exists among
different human groups. Since religion acts universally to find a
solution across society whenever challenges arise, it is right to
deduce that religion is an evolutionary adaptation.
The debate is also supported by the argument on the individual
with mystic experiences by stressing that a mystic’s unusual
perspective is the source for all the varying personality types
existing in the modern society, thus affirming that religion is an
evolutionary adaptation. Moreover, the debate is also supported
with the differences that exist between the primates and
homosapiens that only homo sapiens can perform multiple roles
and positions within society and take those roles off if they feel
there is a need. Thus, by allowing for confusing and
unexplainable things to be acceptable in everyday society, it is
the religion that has taught humanity us to have different
perspectives when looking at this world. The Llast, but not
least, is the role of religion in the evolution of humanity where
the oldest religion, Shaman, is evolving the human
consciousness as seen in soul fight, visionary perceptions,
animistic beliefs, and death-rebirth experiences derived from
the systemic integration of functions of the brain, making them
neurognostic structures that provide experiences of adapting to
the operational environment. Comment by Microsoft Office
User: Consider using headings to break up major sections in
your paper.
References Comment by Microsoft Office User: Ensure your
reference list begins at the top of the page.
Bloch, M. (2008). Why religion is nothing special but is
central. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B:
Biological Sciences, 363(1499), 2055-2061.
doi:10.1098/rstb.2008.0007
Lachmann, P. J. (2010). Religion—An evolutionary
adaptation. The FASEB Journal, 24(5), 1301-1307.
doi:10.1096/fj.10-0502ufm
Murphy, T. R. (2010). The Role of Religious and Mystic
Experiences Inin Human Evolution: A Corollary Hypothesis for
NeuroTheology. NeuroQuantology, 8(4), 495-508.
doi:10.14704/nq.2010.8.4.362
Sanderson, S. K. (2008). Adaptation, evolution, and
religion. Religion, 38(2), 141-156.
doi:10.1016/j.religion.2008.01.003
Sosis, R., & Bressler, E. R. (2003). Cooperation and Commune
Longevity: A Test of the Costly Signaling Theory of
Religion. Cross-Cultural Research, 37(2), 211-239.
doi:10.1177/1069397103037002003

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Running head FALSE MEMORIES AND OLDER ADULTS 1 .docx

  • 1. Running head: FALSE MEMORIES AND OLDER ADULTS 1 Older Adults Experience More False Memories Compared to Other Age Groups Amanda Sinclair 11036772 University of Saskatchewan Psychology 255.3 61: Human Memory 3 November 2013 FALSE MEMORIES AND OLDER ADULTS 2 Proclamation
  • 2. In submitting this paper, I attest that this paper, and any version of this paper, has not previously or concurrently been submitted for credit in another course by myself or anyone else. FALSE MEMORIES AND OLDER ADULTS 3 Abstract Compared to other age groups (e.g. child, teenager, young adult) older adults experience a greater amount of false memories. This was shown in Fandakova, Shing, and Lindenberg (2013) with the use of proactive interference. In Jacoby, Bishara, Hessels, & Toth (2005) retroactive interference was used to create false memories in young and older adults resulting in higher false memories for older adults. Shing, Werkle-Bergner, Li, & Lindenberger (2009) found that not only did older adults have a greater amount of false memories but were also disproportionately
  • 3. more confident in their false memories than children. A neurological study done by Dennis, Kim, & Cabeza (2008) found that, compared to young adults, older adults showed both a reduction in true memories and an increase in false memories. It was also shown that a neurological explanation could be found for the age difference in false memories. In summary, modern research shows clear evidence in support of older adults having a greater proportion of false memories than other age groups. FALSE MEMORIES AND OLDER ADULTS 4 Older Adults Have More False Memories Than Other Age Groups Recent research has shown that the likelihood of remembering false events increases as a person ages, this paper aims to flush out this research and find a clear correlation between age and false memories. False memories, erroneously remembering episodes that did not occur, have
  • 4. been an area of interest since Elizabeth Loftus created the “Lost in the Mall” technique in 1994. This technique involved Loftus implanting a false memory into a child of being lost in a mall at a younger age (Loftus, 1995). At that point it was thought that only children were susceptible to false memories (then said to be repressed memories) and not adults. Since then it has been shown that not only do children create false memories, and are susceptible to implantation, but also young and older adults (Lindsay, Hagen, Read, Wade, & Garry, 2004). For example, Wade, Garry, Read, & Lindsay (2002) successfully implanted a false memory of being in a hot air balloon as a child into twenty subjects whose age ranged from 18-28. Recently, researchers have begun studying age related differences and changes in false memories between age groups (Anastasi & Rhodes, 2008; Brainerd & Reyna, 2002; Norman & Schacter, 1997; Tun, Wingfield, Rosen, & Blanchard, 1998). Early research found an inversed bell curve when comparing false memories to age, meaning that children were just as likely as
  • 5. older adults to have false memories and young adults were least likely (Tun et al. 1998). However, more recent research is finding that older adults are more likely to have false memories compared to all other age groups (Anastasi & Rhodes, 2008). One study found that older adults were ten times more likely to have false memories than young adults (Jacoby, Bishara, Hessels, & Toth, 2005). The purpose of this paper will be to show that compared to other age groups older adults (ages 60+) have increased false memories which can be caused by proactive interference, retroactive interference, overconfidence in their memories, and FALSE MEMORIES AND OLDER ADULTS 5 neurological differences. Due to these factors older adults are at a heightened risk for erroneously remembering episodes that did not occur. Support for Thesis Proactive Interference and False Memories
  • 6. In early studies false memories were successfully implanted in children and adults after repeated sessions of remembering (Loftus & Rickrell, 1995; Wade et al., 2002). These false memories seemed to take a long time to build within subjects. However, Fandakova, Shing, and Lindenberg (2013) show that it is possible to create false memories quickly and for recent events in both children and adults by using proactive interference. Proactive interference is when earlier memories disrupt the retrieval of more recent memories (Baddeley, Eysenck, & Anderson, 2010). Fandakova et al. (2013) tested the differences in false memory across three age groups: children (10-12), young adults (20-27), and older adults (68- 76). Twenty participants from each category were selected from a university community and all were native German speakers. The selected older adults reported no major health issues and were screened for cognitive impairments with the Mini Mental State Examination (Fandakova et al.). A baseline comparison was created by assessing participants’ perceptual speed and crystallized intelligence, and then
  • 7. equating these age differences. Participants were then familiarized with paired words (e.g. Drum Clock) and performed three runs of a repeated continuous recognition task (Fandakova et al.). A continuous recognition task is when study and test phases are not separated, items are continuously presented and the participant is instructed to respond either with ‘old’ if seen before or ‘new’ if the item is presented for the first time (“Continuous recognition task,” n.d.). After each run participants were instructed to forget all previous paired words and being the second trial fresh (Fandakova et al.). In the beginning of a trail when “Drum Clock” appeared a correct FALSE MEMORIES AND OLDER ADULTS 6 response would be ‘new’, however, participants may say ‘old’ falsely remembering “Drum Clock” having already been presented when in actuality their memory is of the previous trial. Across runs, false recognition of lure pairs (Drum Clock) was greater in older adults than in
  • 8. children or young adults. This shows that older adults, compared to both children and young adults, have a higher likelihood of having erroneous memories of recent events due to proactive interference. This is consistent with a study done by Hasher, Chung, May, and Foong (2002) which found that older adults were more vulnerable to proactive interference than young adults. Retroactive Interference and False Memories As with proactive interference, retroactive interference has a greater effect on older adults than young adults (Hedden & Park, 2003). Retroactive interference is when recent memories disrupt the retrieval of earlier memories (Baddeley, Eysenck, & Anderson, 2010). Also like proactive interference, retroactive interference can create false memories as shown by Jacoby and colleagues (2005) in their three separate studies of age differences in false memories. For each experiment participants were collected via flyers and participant pools at Washington University and divided into two groups, 24 young adults (ages 18-27) and 24 older adults (ages
  • 9. 64-87) (Jacoby et al.). To create a baseline comparison in age groups, reading speed and levels of education were equated between age groups and larger font along with extra study time was used for older adults. For all three experiments, participants were given a list of associatively related paired words (Knee Bend or Knee Bone) to study prior to testing. First age comparison. For the first experiment the test phase consisted of presentation of a prime word which was either a studied word (Bend), non-studied word (Bone), or neutral non-word, all of which FALSE MEMORIES AND OLDER ADULTS 7 participants were instructed to ignore (Jacoby et al., 2005). This presentation of a non-studied word was aimed to create retroactive interference for the studied list. A word fragment was then presented (e.g. Knee B_n_) and participants were asked to complete the fragment with their studied words. Response of a studied word (Bend) indicated no
  • 10. false memories while response of the presented non-studied word (Bone) indicated false memories due to retroactive interference. After completion of the fragment participants were asked to report their memory by indicating the basis for their response as either “remember”, “familiar”, or “guess” (Jacoby et al.). A “remember” report meant that they recalled specific details of studying the item, “familiar” meant the participant recalled that the word was on the list but did not recall specific details about studying it, and “guess” meant they were purely guessing. Older adults were ten times more likely to fill in the word fragment with the non-studied word than young adults (Jacoby et al.). This shows that older adults are more susceptible to retroactive interference than young adults and as a result had a greater amount of false memories. Older adults were also much more likely to report their memories as “remember” than young adults. This indicates that young adults may be more skeptical of their memory than older adults. Second age comparison.
  • 11. For the second experiment Jacoby et al. (2005) repeated their test, but this time without memory report and with the ability to pass on the question if a completion word could not be remembered. Compared to experiment one, young adults showed fewer false memories, whereas older adults had the same amount. Older adults were also less likely to use the pass option to reduce evidence of false memories (Jacoby et al.). This shows that false memories in older adults are not caused by an external demand to remember. It also shows that older adults are less likely to take advantage of options that could limit evidence of false memories. This adds support to the FALSE MEMORIES AND OLDER ADULTS 8 idea that older adults are less likely to doubt their own memories leading to not only an increase in false memories but also an increased confidence in those memories. Third age comparison. The third experiment was carried out much like the first, but in
  • 12. this case a recognition test was used rather than a cue-recall test. The recognition test consisted of the presentation of a prime word followed by two pairs of words (e.g., Knee Bone and Knee Bend) separated by a large gap. Participants were instructed to choose the pair that had been studied and give a memory report (Jacoby et al., 2005). The use of a recognition test reduced false memories in both age groups however the difference between age groups was still significant (Jacoby et al.). An important finding was that the recognition test dramatically reduced older adult’s false memories compared to cued-recall. This shows that the chance of having a retroactively induced false memory can be improved if the context in which the memory is presented relies on recognition rather than recall. Nevertheless, even when the recognition test was used older adults still had more false memories than any other age group. Overconfidence in Memories As shown in Jacoby et al. (2005) young adults were more likely to be skeptical of their
  • 13. memories and take advantage of non-report compared to older adults. This finding is also supported by a study which found that older adults were disproportionately more confident in their false memories than children (Shing, Werkle-Bergner, Li, & Lindenberger, 2009). Shing and colleagues’ lifespan sample consisted of 170 residents of Berlin, Germany which were separated into four age groups: 43 children (age 10-12), 43 teenagers (age 13-15), 42 young adults (age 20-25), and 42 older adults (age 70-75). An associative recognition memory task was FALSE MEMORIES AND OLDER ADULTS 9 used to test subjects on studied word pairs. This test was similar to the continuous recognition task explained earlier except that Sing et al. added word pairs of a German word with its Malay translation. This allowed Sing et al. to have lists of two German paired words (GG) or one German word and a Malay word (GM). The reason for this was due to GG pairs demanding more
  • 14. associative processing than the GM pairs (Sing et al.). Participants were also instructed to find a meaningful connection between the GM pairs through either phonological or orthographic characteristics. This associated imagery helped link the GM pairs together through what is known as the keyword strategy (Sing et al.). Older adults showed significantly more “sure” responses after a false memory for both GM and GG pairs than any other age group, including children. This significantly heightened confidence compared to children was surprising, since older adults performed the memory task at a similar level to children. The use of the keyword strategy improved all participants’ performance across age groups. However, the elaborative imagery (keyword strategy) did not reduce age differences in false memories nor did it affect older adult’s high-confidence in false memories (Sing et al.). This once again shows that even when given strategies to reduce false memories older adults still have more false memories than any other age group while also having a high-confidence in those memories. Sing and colleagues
  • 15. close by postulating that older adult’s high-confidence error may be due to hippocampal decline. Neurological Differences Using fMRI’s Dennis, Kim, & Cabeza (2008) set out to discover if there was a neurological explanation to why older adults tend to have more false memories. To test age effects Dennis et al. used fMRI and a false memory task similar to the Deese-Roediger- McDermott (DRM) paradigm. The DRM paradigm is a procedure involving participants’ study of a semantically similar word list (e.g. stove, microwave, fridge) and then participants recall as FALSE MEMORIES AND OLDER ADULTS 10 many words from the list as possible. Typical results show subjects recalling a related word (e.g. kitchen) that was not present on the list. When subjects are asked about the non-studied word many will report they remember studying it, which indicates a false memory (Roediger & McDermott, 1995). Dennis et al. (2008) found that, compared to
  • 16. young adults, older adults showed both a reduction in true memories and an increase in false memories. This once again supports the claim that false memories are more prominent in older adults. The study also found that older adults exhibited a decrease in hippocampal activity. This hippocampal reduction indicated that older adults are impaired in retrieval of item- specific details which depends on the hippocampus. During false memory retrieval older adults exhibited an increased activity in the retrosplenial cortex and left middle temporal gyrus which is related to semantic processing. These findings are consistent with fuzzy trace theory which postulates that older adults’ have a greater reliance on semantic gist (the central idea) (Brainerd, & Reyna, 2002; Dennis et al., 2008; Gutchess & Schacter, 2012). This reliance on gist based criteria requires older adults to take an educated guess at information that is not immediately available for recall. These educated guesses then become encoded as false memories as evidenced by increased activity in the left middle temporal gyrus during retrieval (Dennis et al., 2008).
  • 17. Then, at retrieval when an older adults recalls a false memory it is not recognized as an erroneous memory and the older adult is more likely to be confident in that memory being a true memory. These findings along with Fuzzy trace theory, regarding age-related increases in semantic gist, give further evidence that older adults have greater false memories than any other age groups. Conclusion The existence of false memories is a well-established area of study and modern research supports the idea that older adults experience more false memories than any other age groups. FALSE MEMORIES AND OLDER ADULTS 11 False memory age effects have been replicated in many different cultures such as America, Germany, and Britain (Fandakova et al., 2013; Jacoby et al., 2005; Shing et al., 2009). Fandakova et al. (2013) found that proactive interference caused greater false memories in older
  • 18. adults than children or young adults. Jacoby and colleagues (2005) found this same age effect with retroactive interference. It is important to note that recognition tests reduced but did not eliminate the age effect. They also noted that older adults are less likely to take advantage of options that could limit evidence of false memories. It was noted that this could be due to older adults being overconfident in their false memories (Jacoby et al.). This overconfidence was confirmed by Shing et al. (2009) who showed that older adults had significantly heightened confidence compared to children who performed the memory task at a similar level. Finally, Dennis, Kim, & Cabeza (2008) showed an age effect regarding false memories can be seen using fMRI, so the increased false memories in older adults was not due to errors in report. It was noted that all these findings are consistent with fuzzy trace theory and show a clear positive correlation in false memories and age. A possible explanation for the increased false memories in older adults is that misinformation
  • 19. effects are larger when memory for the original event is poor (Jacoby et al., 2005). This would account for false memories of long past events, however, it was shown that false memories were more prominent in older adults even if the event was very recent (Fandakova at al., 2013; Jacoby et al., 2005). A more probable explanation was given by Dennis and colleagues (2008) who found increased false memories in older adults through use of fMRI. Hippocampal reduction indicates age-related deficits in recollection, whereas the increase in retrosplenial activity reveals compensation of alternative recollection-related regions. FALSE MEMORIES AND OLDER ADULTS 12 This finding that older adults are more susceptible to false memories suggests that there is reason to worry about older adults being more vulnerable to scams (Jacoby et al., 2005). For example, one scam involves a plumber attempting to overcharge an older adult by claiming they
  • 20. quoted the older adult X dollars (a much higher price than actually quoted) and that they agreed to pay. The scam is effective if the individual remembers discussing a price and agreeing to pay but falsely remembering the X dollars as opposed to the actual quote (Jacoby et al.). Another implication is that older adults could be at a disadvantage when driving. It was shown by Fandakova, Shing, and Lindenberg (2013) that false memories could be created very quickly in participants. If an older adult has an increased chance of having false memories about where cars or pedestrians are or are not they would have an increased likelihood of getting into an accident thus endangering their life and others. A goal of future research could be focused on longitudinal studies of false memories to monitor whether or not false memories have cohort effects. Also, most researchers examining age related false memories have focused on creating false memories for recent events. Future research should investigate the age difference in induced memories similar to Loftus (1995) lost in the mall and Wade and colleagues (2002) hot air balloon ride.
  • 21. FALSE MEMORIES AND OLDER ADULTS 13 References Anastasi, J. S., & Rhodes, M. G. (2008). Examining differences in the levels of false memories in children and adults using child-normed lists. Developmental Psychology, 44(3), 889-894. doi: 10.1037/0012-1649.44.3.889 Baddeley, A., Eysenck, M. W., & Anderson, M. C. (2010). Memory. New York: Psychology Press. Brainerd, C. J., & Reyna, V. F. (2002). Fuzzy-trace theory and false memory. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 11, 164-169. doi: 10.1111/1467- 8721.00192 Continuous recognition task. (n.d.) In Psychology Dictionary. Retrieved from http://psychologydictionary.org/continuous-recognition-task/ Dennis, N. A., Kim, H., & Cabeza, R. (2008). Age-related
  • 22. differences in brain activity during true and false memory retrieval. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 20(8), 1390-1402. doi: 10.1162/jocn.2008.20096 Fandakova, Y., Shing, Y. L., & Lindenberger, U. (2013). Differences in binding and monitoring mechanisms contribute to lifespan age differences in false memory. Developmental Psychology, 49(10), 1822-1832. doi: 10.1037/a0031361 Gutchess, A. H., & Schacter, D. L., (2012). The neural correlates of gist-based true and false recognition. NeuroImage, 59(4), 3418-3426. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.11.078 Hasher, L., Chung, C., May, C., & Foong, N. (2002). Age, time of testing, and proactive interference. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 56(3), 200-207. Retrieved from http://ovidsp.tx.ovid.com.cyber.usask.ca/sp- FALSE MEMORIES AND OLDER ADULTS 14 3.10.0b/ovidweb.cgi?&S=AIEBFPFGNHDDKIIFNCNKODGCP
  • 23. GICAA00&Link+Set=S.sh.27 %7c1%7csl_10 Hedden, T., & Park, D. C. (2003). Contributions of source and inhibitory mechanisms to age- related retroactive interference in verbal working memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 132(1), 93-112. doi: 10.1037/0096-3445.132.1.93 Jacoby, L. L., Bishara, A. J., Hessels, S., & Toth, J. P. (2005). Aging, subjective experience, and cognitive control: Dramatic false remembering by older adults. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 134(2), 131-148. doi: 10.1037/0096- 3445.134.2.131 Lindsay, D. S., Hagen, L., Read, J. D., Wade, K. A., & Garry, M. (2004). True photographs and false memories. Psychological Science, 15(3), 149-154. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/40063945 Loftus, E. F., & Rickrell, J. E. (1995). The formation of false memories. Psychiatric Annals, 25(12), 720-725. Retrieved from http://users.ecs.soton.ac.uk/harnad/Papers/Py104/loftusmem1.pd f
  • 24. Norman, K. A., & Schacter, D. L. (1997) False recognition in younger and older adults: Exploring the characteristics of illusory memories. Memory & Cognition, 25(6), 838-848. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com.cyber.usask.ca/article/10.3758/BF03211 328 Roediger, H. L., & McDermott, K. B. (1995). Creating false memories: Remembering words not presented in lists. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 21(4), 803-814. doi: 10.1037/0278-7393.21.4.803 FALSE MEMORIES AND OLDER ADULTS 15 Shing, Y. L., Werkle-Bergner, W., Li, S., & Lindenberger, U. (2009). Committing memory errors with high confidence: Older adults do but children don’t. Memory, 17(2), 169-179. doi: 10.1080/09658210802190596 Tun, P. A., Wingfield, A. W., Rosen, M. J., & Blanchard, L. (1998). Response latencies for false
  • 25. memories: Gist-based processes in normal againg. Psychology and Aging, 13(2), 230-241. Retrieved from http://ovidsp.tx.ovid.com.cyber.usask.ca/sp- 3.10.0b/ovidweb.cgi?&S=MNDMFPPGGFDDLIGONCNKIAMC JMGEAA00&Link+Set=S.sh. 48%7c1%7csl_10 Wade, K. A., Garry, M., Read, J. D., & Lindsay, D. S. (2002). A picture is worth a thousand lies: Using false photographs to create false childhood memories. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 9(3), 597-603. doi: 10.3758/BF03196318 Planning Foundation Worksheet Section 1 (We are…) · What type of organization are you? · What is the purpose of your organization? · What do you want to accomplish as an organization? · Why are you doing this? · What are key messages or phrases that describe your organization? Section 2 (We do…) · What is your primary offering (product, service, message)? · What is the primary function of your offering? · Is the offering used with other offerings? · What led you to develop this offering? · List the top three objections to your offering? · What is your pricing versus competition?
  • 26. · What promotional plans do you have for your offering? What are key messages or phrases that describe your offering? Section 3 (For…) · Who are your target customers? · What groups do you target? · What do you want your target to do? Section 4 (Against: ) · Who are your organization’s direct competitors? · Why do you consider these to be competitors? · How is your organization different from those of its competitors? · What do you plan to do to succeed against your competitors? Section 5 (With: ) · Who are your organization’s partners or allies? · Why do you consider these to be your partners or allies? · What do you plan to do to leverage these alliances to accomplish the objectives of your organization? Section 6 (We are better because…) · Why should someone buy your offering and not someone else’s? Section 7 (Our environment is…) · What are some of the internal strengths of the organization? · What are some of the internal weaknesses of the organization? · What are some of the organization’s external opportunities? · What are some of the organization’s external threats? Value Proposition (Elevator Pitch); Formula We are (X), we do (Y) for (Z) by doing (A, B, C) against (1, 2, 3). We’re different because (D, E, F) People should select our
  • 27. offering over others because (Q, R, S). Your Elevator Pitch TIP: • Use your answers to the Planning Questions Table to draft an elevator pitch that helps others understand what sets your organization apart and why prospects should select your organization over others. • Keep it simple, just fill in the blanks of the “formula” column. Running head: AN EVOLUTIONARY ADAPTATION 1 AN EVOLUTIONARY ADAPTATION 4 Religion: An Evolutionary Adaptation
  • 28. Name Comment by Microsoft Office User: Friendly reminder to insert your name after Institutional Affiliation Comment by Microsoft Office User: Fill this in. Religion: An Evolutionary Adaptation Evolutionary scientists argue differently as todisagree about whether or not religion is an evolutionary adaptation or not. Whereas some believe that religious behaviors are the by- product of the evolved cognitive brain functions, some argue
  • 29. that it could have evolved alongside the verifiable knowledge. Thus, there has been an ongoing debate concerning this subject to date. In this discussion, the evidence in support of religion as an evolutionary adaptation has been shared. A total of fFive articles have been used in this discussionare reviewed in this paper. First, is thean article on economic theory of religious participation; second is the article on the theory about how religious behaviors have risen to provide a solution to a particular human need; third is the article on the argument on the individual with mystic experiences; forth is the article on the differences that exists between the primates and homosapiens; and fifth is the article on the role of religion in the evolution of humanity. Thereafter, how the results of these studies support the argument that religion is an evolutionary adaptation has been shown. Comment by Microsoft Office User: This part is wordy/hard to follow. Comment by Microsoft Office User: Be more direct in conveying your message here. Comment by Microsoft Office User: I would try to focus more on the major themes you’ll discuss rather than listing what each paper talks about. One of the theories that support that religion is an evolutionary adaptation is the Costly Signaling Theory. By analyzing the traditions, regulations, rules, and rituals of the 19th century in United States communes, the authors Sosis and Bressler (2003) found many examples that supported the Costly Signaling Theory of Religion (2003). In According to this theory, it is asserted that religion is a behavior that costs too much in order to fake it (Sosis & Bressler, 2003). It further holds that religious taboos and rituals can promote the intra-group cooperation that, in essence, is an adaptive benefit of religion and that the significant energy, time, and financial costs involved in the imitation of the ritual obviously deters anyone who is an unbeliever of the teachings of that particular religion in question (2003). Thus, it is clear that religion is considered to have developed in order to place humanity at a better chance of survival. In other words, selective pressures are believed to
  • 30. have shaped the human belief systems and favored religion to promote cooperation (2003). Thus, the intra-group cooperation brought to the communities the benefits such as defense, food sharing, cooperative hunting, medical care, and warfare. Considering what happens during the cognitive mental functions in performing a religious act, it is right to deduce that these examples have to do with religion. Hence, it can be confidently affirmedargued that religion is an evolutionary adaptation. Another theory in that supports of religion as an evolutionary adaptation is by Peter Lachmann, who conducted a study on the different cultural and dietary prescriptions exhibited by different religions and then discusses how religious beliefs can be detrimental should there be a change in their environment. Lachmann theorizes that religious behaviors have risen to provide a solution to a particular human need. Under this theory, it is asserted that religion has evolved over time “to maintain those important aspects of human behavior, where variation is found among different human groups” (2010, p. x). Factually, religion acts universally across the society whenever challenges arise thus aiding in finding a solution to the problem. Just like the Costly Signaling Theory, Lachmann’s theory gives a more in-depth explanation of how religion has proven to be the evolutionary adaptation.Comment by Microsoft Office User: Begin a new sentence here. Another evidence piece of evidence that in supports of religion as an evolutionary adaptation is Todd Murphy’s theory. The study was conducted to find out the scientific perspective of the effects of religion on the human brain. Under this theory, it is argued that “all humans have the neural pathways supporting mystic experiences, but only a small part of our population experiences them” (2010). What Murphy (2010) implies in this argument is that individuals who are considered as mystics can show multiple perspectives which are expressed or displayed during a collective decision-making process of which can improve a group’s survival chances in times of opportunities and threats. Since a mystic’s unusual perspective is the source
  • 31. for all the varying personality types existing in modern society, it is no doubt seems likely that religion is an evolutionary adaptation. Maurice Bloch’s argument is another discussion which can be used to support the religion-as-an-adaptation debate. His study aimed at finding out the differences that exist between human sociality and the other primates. Under this argument, Bloch (2008) discusses the major differences that exist between the primates and homosapiens in general and shows why religion is an evolutionary adaptation. He first points out that religion and imagination development is what distinguishes human beings from other primates. According to Bloch (2008), even though the social organizations of the chimpanzee are very complex, these creatures do not exhibit anything resembling religion. He further explains that both the homo sapiens and chimpanzees exhibit a process of continual assertions, manipulation, and defeats but only homo sapiens exhibit essentialized roles and groups. Comment by Microsoft Office User: I would recommend re-reading your paper to reduce wordiness. See my edits as examples. According to Bloch (2008), only homo sapiens can perform multiple roles and positions within society and take those roles off if they feel there is a need (2008). Therefore, if homosapiens could not possess the adaptation of religious thought, behavior, and belief, it would not be possible for human beings to come to this far. It is evident that by allowing for confusing and unexplainable things to be acceptable in everyday society, it is the religion that has taught humanity to have different perspectives when looking at this world. The religion-as-an-evolutionary adaptation is also supported by Sanderson who provides different lines of evidence showing how religion has aided in the evolution of humanity. The study discussed the attributes of religion as an evolutionary adaptation. Sanderson (2008) explains that religion is an evolutionary adaption because of the potential fitness benefits it brings to an individual, and due to the original religious group –
  • 32. the Shaman –who provided different services which helped the community to survive better. Thus Anderson (2008) mentions that the Shaman, the oldest religion, was universal and was mainly aimed at fulfilling crucial human goals like curing illnesses and finding and protecting vital resources. They provided many different services, becoming a necessity for different communities who wanted to survive. Thus, Shamanism has played an important role in the evolution of human consciousness, thus shaping the cognitive functions in the hypnotized individual who experiences the religious state. Therefore, the role of Shaman in evolving human consciousness is seen in soul fight, visionary perceptions, animistic beliefs, and death-rebirth experiences (2008). It is no doubt that these universal adaptations are derived from the systemic integration of functions of the brain, thus making them neurognostic structures that provide experiences of adapting to the operational environment. In conclusion, the pieces of evidence in support of religion as an evolutionary adaptation show that an evolutionary adaptation has evolved in species because it gives benefits which ensure survival for groups and individuals. The Costly Signaling Theory of Religion proves religion as an evolutionary adaptation by asserting that religious behavior costs too much in order to fake it and that the significant energy, time, and financial costs that are involved in the imitation of the ritual obviously deters anyone from easily faking it. Additionally, it is asserted that religion has evolved over time since it has played a major role in helping communities to maintain important human behavior aspects, especially where variation exists among different human groups. Since religion acts universally to find a solution across society whenever challenges arise, it is right to deduce that religion is an evolutionary adaptation. The debate is also supported by the argument on the individual with mystic experiences by stressing that a mystic’s unusual perspective is the source for all the varying personality types existing in the modern society, thus affirming that religion is an
  • 33. evolutionary adaptation. Moreover, the debate is also supported with the differences that exist between the primates and homosapiens that only homo sapiens can perform multiple roles and positions within society and take those roles off if they feel there is a need. Thus, by allowing for confusing and unexplainable things to be acceptable in everyday society, it is the religion that has taught humanity us to have different perspectives when looking at this world. The Llast, but not least, is the role of religion in the evolution of humanity where the oldest religion, Shaman, is evolving the human consciousness as seen in soul fight, visionary perceptions, animistic beliefs, and death-rebirth experiences derived from the systemic integration of functions of the brain, making them neurognostic structures that provide experiences of adapting to the operational environment. Comment by Microsoft Office User: Consider using headings to break up major sections in your paper.
  • 34. References Comment by Microsoft Office User: Ensure your reference list begins at the top of the page. Bloch, M. (2008). Why religion is nothing special but is central. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 363(1499), 2055-2061. doi:10.1098/rstb.2008.0007 Lachmann, P. J. (2010). Religion—An evolutionary adaptation. The FASEB Journal, 24(5), 1301-1307. doi:10.1096/fj.10-0502ufm Murphy, T. R. (2010). The Role of Religious and Mystic Experiences Inin Human Evolution: A Corollary Hypothesis for NeuroTheology. NeuroQuantology, 8(4), 495-508. doi:10.14704/nq.2010.8.4.362 Sanderson, S. K. (2008). Adaptation, evolution, and religion. Religion, 38(2), 141-156. doi:10.1016/j.religion.2008.01.003 Sosis, R., & Bressler, E. R. (2003). Cooperation and Commune
  • 35. Longevity: A Test of the Costly Signaling Theory of Religion. Cross-Cultural Research, 37(2), 211-239. doi:10.1177/1069397103037002003