I remember the first time that I realized that I had a false memory. It concerned an event that I remembered from when I was about six years old. There was a fire a few houses away and my father decided to pack us in the car and drive us away for safety in case it should spread and engulf our home. When I asked my mother and older sister many years later about this incident, they both said that such a sequence never happened. But the images are still quite strong in my mind.
Ever since then, I have been wary of accepting at face value the recollections of people, especially of events that occurred when they were children. Some may recall a couple of decades ago a spate of cases involving child abuse at day care centers in which many people went to jail based on the testimony of children which sometimes turned out to be caused by false memories that had resulted from the interrogators’ questioning.
This article by Steven Ross Pomeroy says that you can implant quite a large fraction of adults with false memories if one follows four specific steps. It suggests that you can try it as a prank on your friends but I am leery of convincing people of things that are false, even if it is supposed to be in fun.
Of course, false memories can get created in many different ways, most of the time spontaneously and subtly, so it is good to be aware that we are all susceptible to it. That might prevent us from dogmatically asserting that something happened in the past when there is no corroborating evidence or even if evidence exists that actually contradicts it.