In an article published in Consciousness And Cognition, Kathy Pezdek and Shirley Lam argued that: “flawed memories and false memories are not the same thing, nor are identical cognitive processes likely to underlie the two”, and that researchers have tended to conflate the two concepts. They further suggest that this has lead to the misapplication of false memory research to real world situations.
A response to these criticisms has been prepared by Kimberley A. Wade, Stefanie J. Sharman, Maryanne Garry, Amina Memon, Giuliana Mazzoni, Harald Merckelbach, and Elizabeth F. Loftus.
Pezdek and Lam claim that the majority of research into false memories has been misguided. Specifically, they charge that false memory scientists have been (1) misusing the term ‘‘false memory,’’ (2) relying on the wrong methodologies to study false memories, and (3) misapplying false memory research to real world situations.
We review each of these claims and highlight the problems with them. We conclude that several types of false memory research have advanced our knowledge of autobiographical and recovered memories, and that future research will continue to make significant contributions to how we understand memory and memory errors.
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