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False Memories

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Alex Neufeld

on 27 February 2015

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Transcript of False Memories

Human memory is created and highly suggestible, and can create a wide variety of innocuous, embarrassing, and frightening memories through different techniques—including guided imagery, hypnosis, and suggestion by others (Herndon et al., 2014).
False memory syndrome (FMS) describes a condition in which a person's identity and relationships are affected by memories that are factually incorrect but that they strongly believe.
Jamieson, D. (2014)
False Memory Syndrome
My Lie: A True Story of False Memory
During the late 1990s, there were multiple lawsuits in the United States in which psychiatrists and psychologists were successfully sued, or settled out of court, on the charge of propagating iatrogenic memories of childhood sexual abuse, incest and satanic ritual abuse.

Some of these suits were brought by individuals who later declare that their recovered memories of incest or satanic ritual abuse had been false.
"Recovered Memory Lawsuit Sparks Litigation" (2010)
Court Cases
Some states no longer allow prosecution based on recovered memory testimony. Insurance companies have become reluctant to insure therapists against malpractice suits relating to recovered memories

The research of Elizabeth Loftus has been used to counter claims of recovered memory in court[21] and it has resulted in stricter requirements for the use of recovered memories being used in trials, as well as a greater requirement for corroborating evidence

Wilson, A (2002-11-03)
Court Cases Cont.
Based on misinformation biases, subjects are unable to remember the original information of an event but are able to remember the misleading information that they are presented to them.
(Mazzoni, G., & Vannucci, M, 2007)
Hindsight Bias
False Memories
Why This Happens
We often believe what we want to believe
If we cant remember an event, a trust source can plant a false memory
This is common with parents telling us how we used to act as kids and the things we did
These stories can be created into memories.
Suppressed memories are easily manipulated by an outside source during discovery
Law suits often happen over Psychologists twisting the suppressed memories
Memory Discovery
"Recovered Memory Lawsuit Spark Litigation" (2010). Psychiatrictimes.com. Retrieved 2010-12-12.

Wilson, A (2002-11-03). "War & remembrance: Controversy is a constant for memory researcher Elizabeth Loftus, newly installed at UCI". The Orange County Register. Retrieved 2009-01-19.

Jamieson, D. (2014). False Memory Syndrome - the Good Kind. Relational Child & Youth Care Practice, 27(4), 49-52.

Herndon, P., Myers, B., Mitchell, K., Kehn, A., & Henry, S. (2014). False memories for highly aversive early childhood events: Effects of guided imagery and group influence.
Psychology Of Consciousness: Theory, Research, And Practice
, 1(1), 20-31. doi:10.1037/cns0000011

Bremner, J. D., & Shobe, K. K. (2000). False memories in women with self-reported childhood sexual abuse: An empirical study Psychological Science (Wiley-Blackwell), 11(4), 333.

Mazzoni, G., & Vannucci, M. (2007). HINDSIGHT BIAS, THE MISINFORMATION EFFECT, AND FALSE AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMORIES. Social Cognition, 25(1), 203-220.

Wade, K., Sharman, S., Garry, M., Memon, A., Mazzoni, G., Merckelbach, H., & Loftus, E. (2007). False Claims About False Memory Research. Consciousness and Cognition, 18-28.
False Memories
and PTSD
Some disorders have an effect on memory.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has been show to have a broad range of memory alterations in abused women.

One study found that abused women with PTSD had the highest frequency of false memory recognition at 95% compared to abused women without PTSD with 78% and nonabused men and women with 86% and 79% (Bremner & Shobe, 2000).
False Claims on False Memory
-"False memory" was first cited in cognitive research literature in 1994 (Wade et al, 2007) though initial findings on the topic date back to the mid 1980's. False memory has been the subject of some discrepancy since.

-The third major claim of Wade is that lab experiments cannot properly be used to generalize false memory to the population as they are "controlled" or "recovered" memories. There is, however, still a "substantial amount of evidence showing that a range of flase memory research has advanced our understanding of false memories in the real world. (Wade et al, 2007)
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