A new study points out that people can be duped into recalling faces they have never seen.
Elizabeth Loftus, a psychologist at the University of Caliornia, Irvine, says that soldiers training under conditions simulating capture prove even more susceptible.
While making a presentation at AAAS this weekend, she revealed that her team showed volunteers a photograph of a face and asked them to remember it.
She said that the subjects were later shown a substantially altered version of the original face as well as a face they had never seen, and asked to select the familiar face.
She said that the team found most of the subjects picking the altered face.
Elizabeth further revealed that, with the false memory planted, her team offered volunteers a larger set of faces, including both the original and altered version of the face they were told to memorize.
She said that a substantial portion of volunteers continued identifying the wrong face, reports New Scientist magazine.
Her team also carried out similar tests on soldiers exposed to conditions they might experience as prisoners of war-such as interrogations, poor conditions, helicopter rescues, etc.
The soldiers took the test embedded into a day-long interrogation.
Elizabeth revealed that nine out of ten soldiers picked the altered face instead of the original face, out of a total of 9 faces.
The researcher said that the soldiers selected the wrong face half the time even without misinformation.