Psychology Student Explains Why Brain Washing Is Actually Really Easy

by : Emily Brown on : 26 Mar 2021 18:59
Psychology Student Explains Why Brain Washing Is Actually Really Easyvictoriahammett/TikTok

A psychology student has revealed how brainwashing is actually ‘surprisingly easy’ in a TikTok video explaining the practice. 

Victoria Hammett, a student at the University of Southern California, said she was starting a TikTok series in which she would be using psychology to ‘explain some of the issues in [the US] justice system’.


Noting that brainwashing is ‘unethical’, Victoria began her series by discussing the ‘misinformation effect’, explaining that it occurs when ‘your memory of an event is altered based on information you’re given after the event’.

Check out the video below:


The psychology student cited a study in which participants witnessed the ‘exact same car accident’, after which one group was asked how fast the cars were going when they ‘smashed into each other’, while another was asked how fast they were going when they ‘made contact’.

Victoria continued:

Despite witnessing the exact same car accident the phrasing of the question dramatically changed the answers between the groups.

According to the TikToker, the first group estimated that the cars were going at a much faster speed than the second group. This indicates, Victoria explained, that even something as simple as the words you choose can ‘alter someone’s memory’.

TikToker explains why brainwashing is surprisingly easy@victoriahammett/TikTok

Victoria noted that this method also works on a larger scale, and can ‘force people to remember things that never happened’, such as committing a crime. These ‘false memories’ can apparently be so realistic that they show up on MRI scans as ‘real memories’, which is why innocent people have been known to confess to crimes they did not commit.

So there you have it – next time you feel your memory is being put to the test, listen to the language being used and bear in mind that brainwashing might be playing a part…

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Science, Psychology, TikTok


Victoria Hammett/TikTok
  1. Victoria Hammett/TikTok