Friday, 21 April 2006

False Memories of Real-Life Trauma.

Elizabeth F. Loftus, Department of Psychology and Social Behavior, University of California, Irvine.
Deborah Davis, Department of Psychology, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada.

"...For most claims of massive repression and recovery, there is little confirming or disconfirming evidence. But some “memories” can be shown to be factually, psychologically, geographically, or biologically impossible.
As with case histories of alleged lost and recovered memories, those of false memory for trauma must also meet stringent criteria of proof: both that the person did have memories for the trauma in question and that the event actually did not happen....
Among the most frequently reported impossible false memories of trauma are those of abduction by space aliens.
Although approximately 17% of Americans believe that aliens have abducted humans (and presumably returned them alive), we assume that memories of such events are clearly false.
Nevertheless, large numbers of patients have reported memories of alien abductions that have largely developed in therapy and under hypnosis or while the patient was subject to other methods used in recovered memory therapy (see Mack 1994, McNally 2003b).
A large category of false memories concerns various forms of satanic ritual abuse reported by patients in recovered memory therapy...."
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