Our brains make stuff up.
Confabulation is a medical term that refers to “the production or creation of false or erroneous memories without the intent to deceive.” (You could call it “honest lying.”)
In other words, we humans can share false stories, genuinely believing they are true.
from Confabulation: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals by Jerrod Brown, et al in ClinMed International Library, Volume 4, Issue 2:
“These false memories may consist of exaggerations of actual events, inserting memories of one event into another time or place, recalling an older memory but believing it took place more recently, filling in gaps in memory, or the creation of a new memory of an event that never occurred. While some confabulated memories are easier to identify as false, in other cases, the confabulated memory may be so personal and unique, only a corroborating witness like a family member or close friend may be able to confirm the veracity of the memory. Confabulation also occurs when an individual unintentionally mistakes imagined events as actual memories.”
Somehow in today’s crazy world, this seems important to know.