18 May 2014

Justifying wartime atrocities alters memories

PRINCETON, N.J.—Stories about wartime atrocities and torture methods, like waterboarding and beatings, often include justifications – despite whether the rationale is legitimate.

Now, a study by Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School shows how those justifications actually creep into people's memories of war, excusing the actions of their side. The researchers report in Psychological Science shows how Americans' motivation to remember information that absolves American soldiers of atrocities alters their memories.


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