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10-COGS11-False Memories

10-COGS11-False Memories - False Memories False Memories...

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False Memories Mary ET Boyle, Ph.D. Department of Cognitive Science UCSD
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What do we really know? Memories for events change with time? Memories for traumatic events change with time? True True Vivid memories can be created for events that did not actually happen of which people can be very confident. True Memories can be created for traumatic events that did not actually happen but only in children. False Children do not forget sexual abuse. False Just thinking about doing something may create a memory of having actually done it. True
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Origins of Repression Sigmund Freud – Originator of psychoanalysis Believed that unconscious motives controlled much of behavior
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Repression is one of Freud’s defense mechanisms Painful feelings or memories are pushed out of consciousness, though they still influence beha ior still influence behavior Not necessarily a conscious process, the unconscious was a cause and effect of repression
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Psychoanalysis In psychoanalysis, patient is encouraged to speak freely, allowing the unconscious to come to the fore The analyst gains information from patient and uses it to put together a picture of what may be causing problems “...the principal point is that I should guess the [traumatic] secret and tell it to the patient straight out...” “...it is of use if we can guess the way in which things are connected up and tell the patient before we have uncovered it.”
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Ideas were based on biased speculation, i not science There is no substantial evidence for the Freudian concept of repression Psychoanalysis itself is a non scientific endeavor, which has very little therapeutic benefit It must be admitted that women have but little sense of justice, and this is no doubt connected with the preponderance of envy in their mental life ” in their mental life.
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The role of the subconscious in guiding behavior Focus on mental health Philosophy, not science “Admittedly an unusual state, but not one that can be stigmatized as pathological ” can be stigmatized as pathological. Freud referring to romantic love in Civilization and its Discontents
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Forgetting Trauma? McNally et al contrast two views: “approximately a third of sexually abused approximately a third of sexually abused victims report some period of their lives where they did not remember anything about the abuse and later recovered the abuse.” Brown et al (1998)
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Forgetting trauma? Contrast with: The Myth of Repressed Memory Loftus and Ketcham (1994)
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Dale Akiki case:
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Question put to sexual abuse victims: Was there ever a time when you could not remember the forced sexual experience? 59% responded yes What does this mean?
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