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confabulation

a mental disorder

TRANSLATION

confabulation (psychology) = eine Art von Gedächtnisfehler, bei dem Lücken im Gedächtnis einer Person unbewusst mit erfundenen, fehlinterpretierten oder verzerrten Informationen gefüllt werden —— confabulation (social conversation) = Plauderei

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

“While web-browsers mainly provided a window on content and code produced by humans, advanced machine learning models generate their content themselves. When doing so they “hallucinate” (or as some prefer “CONFABULATION”) in various ways.”

The Economist Essay - ’The Age of Pseudocognition’ (20th April 2023)

“Every act of remembering is an act of creation, a CONFABULATION stitched together from an array of different cues. We know this, really, when we get into a muddle over whether we actually recall an incident from childhood or whether we've simply been told about it or seen a photo.”

Kathryn Hughes - The Guardian, ‘Pieces of Light’ (31st August 2012 )

Did you
know?

confabulation
noun

- a type of memory error in which gaps in a person's memory are unconsciously filled with fabricated, misinterpreted, or distorted information

- conversation or discussion about something

Very Well Mind / Cambridge Dictionary


WORD ORIGIN

The word "confabulation" comes from the Latin word confabulatio, which is derived from the verb confabulari. Confabulari is a combination of two Latin elements: the prefix con- meaning "together" and fabulari meaning "to talk" or "to speak". Fabulari comes from the noun fabula, which means "story" or "tale."

In its original Latin context, confabulatio referred to a conversation or discussion between people.

Over time, the word's meaning also evolved to include the psychological phenomenon of unintentionally fabricating, distorting, or misinterpreting memories.


REMEMBERING THE UNREMEMBERED

Confabulation is a complex psychological phenomenon that occurs when a person unintentionally fabricates, distorts, or misinterprets memories or events. This can be the result of damage to certain brain areas or cognitive impairment, as seen in conditions like Alzheimer's disease, Korsakoff's syndrome (associated with vitamin B1 deficiency and alcoholism), or brain injuries.

In confabulation, the person is not intentionally lying or trying to deceive others. They truly believe that their made-up or altered memories are accurate and real. Confabulations can be spontaneous or provoked. Spontaneous confabulations are stories or memories that a person creates without any external trigger, while provoked confabulations occur in response to questions or prompts.

It is important to recognize that individuals experiencing confabulation are not consciously aware that their memories are inaccurate, which makes it challenging to address the issue. Treatment for confabulation typically involves addressing the underlying neurological or cognitive issues and providing supportive care to help the individual maintain a sense of reality and the accurate recollection of events.


SYNONYMS

- a false statement or belief

alternative fact, angler's tale, artefact, artifice, baloney, bunk, canard, caricature, claptrap, cock-and-bull story, coloringus, colouring, concoction, CONFABULATION, conspiracy theory, cover-up, departure/deviation from the truth, dissembling, dissimulation, distortion, doctoring, economy with the truth, fakery, fake, fake news, fallacy, false colours (report, statement), falsehood, falsification, fancy, fantasy, fib, fibbery, fibbing, fiction, figment (of imagination), flight of fancy, front, fudging, guile, guise, half-truth, hallucination, hoax, hogwash, hyperbolism, hyperbole, illusion, inflation, invention, kidology, lies, lying, malarkey, made-up story, manipulation, mask, mendacity, misinformation, misbelief, misrepresentation, misreporting, misstatement, myth, nancy story, old wivesʼ tale, one for the birds, perversion, piece of fiction, pork pie, porky, porky pie, pretence (UK), pretense (US), pretension, pretentiousness, pretext, red herring, romance, ruse, sham, smoke, song and dance, spin, stratagem, subterfuge, superstitition, tall story (tale), taradiddle, tinkering, terminological inexactitude, treachery, trickery, trumped-up story, twisting, untruth, untruthfulness, urban legend (myth), wile, whitewash, white lie, whopper, yarn


SMUGGLE OWAD into an English conversation, say something like:

“Through CONFABULATION, we gain insight into the vulnerability of our memories and the power of the subconscious.”


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