The Myth of Repressed Memory: False Memories And Allegations Of Sexual Abuse

Paperback | January 15, 1996

byElizabeth Loftus, Katherine Ketcham

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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. Indeed, 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.

This book 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. Since it is not actually a legitimate psychological phenomenon, the idea of "recovered memory"--and the movement that has developed alongside it--is thus closer to a dangerous fad or trendy witch hunt.

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From Our Editors

The nation's leading expert on memory exposes the recent wave of sex abuse charges based on "repressed memories" as a modern-day version of the Salem witch trials. "Astute, scientifically informed, and compassionate towards the movement's casualties".--New York Review of Books

From the Publisher

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. Indeed, therapists and lawyers have created an indust...

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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Format:PaperbackDimensions:312 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.69 inPublished:January 15, 1996Publisher:St. Martin's Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0312141238

ISBN - 13:9780312141233

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From Our Editors

The nation's leading expert on memory exposes the recent wave of sex abuse charges based on "repressed memories" as a modern-day version of the Salem witch trials. "Astute, scientifically informed, and compassionate towards the movement's casualties".--New York Review of Books

Editorial Reviews

"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