Research | Motivated False Memory
The research of Zhao Xiaojian, Associate Professor of the School of Management and Economics (SME) of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, (CUHK-Shenzhen) and his co-authors, “Motivated False Memory", proposed the functional value of people's false memory, and explored the rationality of false memory from an economic perspective. The article was published in the Journal of Political Economy (Volume 128, Number 10, October 2020).
One of the oldest and most prestigious journals in economics, the Journal of Political Economy (JPE) has since 1892 presented significant research and scholarship in economic theory and practice. The journal aims to publish highly selective, widely cited articles of current relevance that will have a long-term impact on economics research. It is recognized as one of the top five journals in economics.
(On Leave Academic Year 2019-2021)
Associate Professor of SME, CUHK-Shenzhen
Research interests: Contract Theory, Applied Microeconomics, Psychology and Economics, Experimental Economics
People often forget and sometimes fantasize. This paper reports a large-scale experiment on memory errors and their relation to preferential traits including time preference, attitudes toward risk and ambiguity, and psychological characteristics such as anticipatory feelings. We observe systematic incidences of false memory in favor of positive events and positive amnesia in forgetting past negative events. Both positive delusion and positive confabulation significantly relate to present bias, but this is not the case for positive amnesia. In an intra-person, multiple-self model, we demonstrate that positive false memory, rather than selective amnesia, serves to enhance confidence in one's future self in equilibrium, thereby accounting for our experimental findings.
Click the link to find the full text of the article: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/10.1086/709971
Proofreading: Ella, Claire