Myth of Repressed Memory: False Memories and Allegations of Sexual Abuse

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Across the country, families are being torn apart and people sent to prison, all because of a trendy new psychological phenomenon: recovered memory. According to many clinical psychologists, when the mind is forced to endure a horrifying experience, it has the ability to bury the entire memory of it so deeply within the unconscious that it can only be recalled in the form of a flashback triggered by a sight, a smell, or a sound. Therapists and lawyers have created an industry based on treating and litigating the ...
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Hardcover. ISBN: 0312114540. Excellent condition. No wear. Fine dustjacket. No markings. No remainder mark. Shipped with USPS tracking. Shipped by Airmail to addresses outside the ... U.S. Read more Show Less

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1994 Hard cover New. Sewn binding. Paper over boards. 290 p.

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Gordonsville, Virginia, U.S.A. 1994 Hardcover New 0312114540. FLAWLESS COPY, BRAND NEW, PRISTINE, NEVER OPENED 290 pages--DESCRIPTION: Across the country, families are being ... torn apart and people sent to prison, all because of a trendy new psychological phenomenon: recovered memory. According to many clinical psychologists, when the mind is forced to endure a horrifying experience, it has the ability to bury the entire memory of it so deeply within the unconscious that it can only be recalled in the form of a flashback triggered by a sight, a smell, or a sound. Therapists and lawyers have created an industry based on treating and litigating the cases of people who suddenly claim to have "recovered" memories of everything from child abuse to murder. Dr. Loftus reveals that despite decades of research, there is absolutely no controlled scientific support for the idea that memories of trauma are routinely banished into the unconscious and then reliably recovered years later. --BookList-Brenda Grazis: "As a co Read more Show Less

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Overview

Across the country, families are being torn apart and people sent to prison, all because of a trendy new psychological phenomenon: recovered memory. According to many clinical psychologists, when the mind is forced to endure a horrifying experience, it has the ability to bury the entire memory of it so deeply within the unconscious that it can only be recalled in the form of a flashback triggered by a sight, a smell, or a sound. Therapists and lawyers have created an industry based on treating and litigating the cases of people who suddenly claim to have "recovered" memories of everything from child abuse to murder. Dr. Loftus reveals that despite decades of research, there is absolutely no controlled scientific support for the idea that memories of trauma are routinely banished into the unconscious and then reliably recovered years later.

Reveals that despite decades of research, there is no controlled scientific support for "repressed memories".

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Editorial Reviews

Brenda Grazis
As a cognitive psychologist, Loftus has acquired extensive insight into the malleability of memory. For example, her research has shown that false traumatic childhood "memories" can be readily induced in adults, who then enrich the implanted memory with detail and emotion. The results of such studies and a total lack of evidence of memory repression lead Loftus and other eminent psychologists to attribute the wide prevalence of recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse and satanic ritual abuse to therapist bias. Coauthor Ketcham and Loftus describe the anguish of the accused and of the families shattered by disastrous combinations of ill-trained, overzealous therapists, suggestibility of vulnerable patients, and group-therapy pressure to exhume and share monstrous memories. They neither dispute the reality of childhood sexual abuse nor the existence of traumatic memories, but they reject the true believers' assertions that "incest is epidemic, repression is rampant" and that "skeptics" are "in denial." Highly recommended.
Booknews
Presents several in-depth case studies of how families have been torn apart by child sexual abuse cases based on what Loftus (psychology, U. of Washington) considers the scientifically suspect concept of repressed memory. Drawing on her long experimental research into the nature of memory, she says it is not like video tape, storing images until they are replayed, but is a creative process related to dreams, creative writing, imagination, and wishful thinking. She accuses overzealous and ideological therapists of manipulating the memory of vulnerable women and creating a hysteria similar to the witch hunts. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher
"Astute, scientifically informed, and compassionate towards the movement's casualties."—The New York Review of Books

"The descriptions [of] the 'therapeutic' practices by which memories are recovered are a frightening indictment of at least some members of the burgeoning industry."—The New York Times Book Review

"[A] thoughtful, scholarly book . . . concerned with exposing the damage caused by, and the falsity of, the practice of recovered-memory therapy."—The Washington Post Book World

From Barnes & Noble
Although the authors acknowledge that childhood sexual abuse is a serious problem, they challenge the notion of an epidemic based on so-called "recovered" memories.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312114541
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/1994
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 290
  • Product dimensions: 6.39 (w) x 9.51 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Elizabeth Loftus, a professor of psychology at the University of Washington, is also the author of Witness for the Defense and Eyewitness Testimony.

Katherine Ketcham is also the co-author of Under the Influence, The Spirituality of Imperfection, Beyond the Influence, The Power of Empathy, and other books.

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