False Memories Essay

6772 words - 27 pages

University of SouthamptonDepartment of PsychologyYear 3 Dissertation'Misconceptions and inaccuracies: Analysis of the debate between clinical and experimental psychologists as to the nature of forgetting, and methodologies used to proliferate arguments in the recovered/false memory debate.'Candidate number: 98087754Dr. Phil HighamThis dissertation is submitted in partial fulfilment of the Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology, 2001ContentsDescriptionPage numberTitle page1Contents2Personal Commentary3Abstract4Introduction: A brief outline of some of the main debates5-8In the recovered/false memory debate.The nature of forgetting an abuse memory: The concepts of 9-15delayed recall and meta-awareness are coveredin this section.Experimental evidence and the lab: Can studies based around 16-23such methods be applicable to the to a therapy setting?Several key experiments are described, withemphasis placed on their applicability towarda therapy setting.Summery:Conclusions and further discussion of the debate23-26References27-30Personal commentaryWhen I first starting reading around the subject of recovered/false memories I started to gain a comprehensive view, or what I thought was a clear view of the debate at hand. Initially thinking that all recovered memories were false and that therapeutic community was full of poorly trained 'professionals' whose sole goal in life was to make money. How wrong could I be! After further reading I learnt that the debate is more complex than that which could ever be taught in a lecture course. Finally understanding some of the points involved I delved into the literature reading profusely for three or so months. Finally after several revisions I came up with two of what I believe main debates within the debate on recovered memories. I hope I have done it justice and sincerely hope you do to.On a final note I would like to thank those who have helped me through this learning experience. I would like to thank my tutor Phil, whose laid-back approach and listening ear prevented some of the main stressors from this dissertation from becoming panic attacks. Special thanks goes to James Ost whose commentary and supply of articles was invaluable. Thanks as well to Jonathan Schooler of the University of Pittsburgh for his supply of invaluable articles. All in all this has been a good experience and one I hope build on. Enjoy!Abstract.This paper gives a general introduction into some of the key debates in psychology with the review two key debates concerning false/recovered memories of abuse. These are 1/ what processes other than repression can account for the forgetting of sexual abuse memories; and 2/ Can evidence for the creation of false memories in therapy be generalised to that setting.1/ Case based analysis suggests that recovered memories have not been forgotten in a sense of repression. Instead it is argued recovered memories are perceived to have been forgotten due to a change in the individuals understanding of...

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