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Cryptomnesia (from al-Greek. κρυπτός hidden, secret + μνήμη memory, recollection) is a genus to many cases of paramnesia, when people can't remember when it was an event, in a dream or reality when we forget the source of that particular information. In the narrow sense, when other people's ideas and someone else's creativity, once perceived, after a while recognized as their own.

Cryptomnesia occurs when a forgotten memory returns, but the person believes that it is something new and original. People may falsely "remember" the creation of thoughts, ideas, song, or joke, not deliberately engaging in plagiarism but rather experiencing again the memory that recalls the inspiration.

The term "cryptomnesia" was proposed by Professor of psychology Theodore of Flournoy soon after researching them, of the medium Helen Smith, who through so-called "automatic writing" was about their previous lives and their contact with the Martians. So Flournoy came to the conclusion that the language of "Martian" letters close to her native French, and that its revelations are nothing more than subconscious imagination, based largely on neglected sources.

The study identified two types of cryptomnesia:

  • The first type of bias is associated with a sense of the familiar. "Occurrence forgetting - forgetting the source" (cases of forgetfulness, of forgetting the source). Plagiarist regenerate an idea that has already been submitted earlier, but believes the idea is his original creation. Re-played the idea may be foreign or recovered from the past.
  • The second type of cryptomnesia is the result of an error of authorship, where the ideas of others are remembered as their own. "Generation errors - recognition errors" (error generation, error detection)/ In this case, the plagiarist correctly understand that the idea comes from an earlier time, but falsely thinks himself the source of (or losing a specific recollection of mentioning ideas in print or conversation, suggests that he "came" to this original idea).

These two types of cryptomnesia are considered to be independent between frequencies of occurrence of errors not revealed any connection, both types are caused by various reasons.

Most cryptomnesia happens when it impairs the ability to control the springs properly. For example, people more inclined to falsely assume ideas of their own when they were under high cognitive load, when I first considered the idea.

Plagiarism increases when people are away from the initial source of the idea, and decreases when participants are specifically instructed to pay attention to the origin of their ideas. False claims are also more common for ideas originally proposed by persons of the same sex, presumably because perceived similarity of the self between people of the same sex aggravates the source of confusion.

In other studies it was found that timing is also an important idea: if another person produces an idea immediately before the self creates the idea, the idea of another person is more likely to be named as its own, ostensibly because the person is too busy getting ready, in turn, thoroughly to track down the source of the information.

Translated by «Yandex.Translator»

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