False Memories (Memory)
In recent years there has been immense controversy about such repressed memories. Experts differ in their opinions as to whether the abuse actually happened, or whether such ‘memories’ are actually created during the process of psychotherapy. There are few areas of mental health practice in which expert opinion has been so strongly divided and forcefully expressed. Whether or not repressed memory can and does occur is of great legal and ethical importance.
Those who believe in the ability of psychotherapy to identify true repressed memories defend their viewpoint on the high frequency of known child abuse and sexual molestation. For every case that is detected there must surely be some that are unreported and unprosecuted. There is no doubt that perpetrators of childhood abuse go to great lengths to deny their involvement, and abuse frequently is revealed (and admitted by the perpetrator) only many years after it has occurred. The supporters of repressed memories believe that many victims find their experiences too terrible to remember. They bury these memories deep in the unconscious - only to have them emerge later as elements of dissociative behavior.
Memory is often a reconstruction of past experiences as opposed to a retrieval of experienced events recorded exactly as they happened in 1971 . Although memory performance is often accurate , for example when people remember their first day of school , errors might arise from the very processes that produce those accurate records , due to memory ‘s constructive nature . For instance , your memory of an argument during a family reunion in which you supported your brother ‘s point of view may be very different from your sister ‘s recollection who was arguing with your brother . Most likely , reports from both persons contain errors as well as authentic information . Due to its constructive nature , memory can often be strongly influenced by expectations , emotions , the suggested beliefs...