Essay On Repressed Memories

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One of the most heated debates in the field of psychology and cognitive neuroscience revolves around repressed memories. A repressed memory occurs when someone has experienced severe trauma and they unconsciously suppress details about this event or the event as a whole. Later in life, when asked about this experience either through therapy, a court trial or another manner, the memory could be recovered in this person’s consciousness. However, this recovered memory cannot always be seen as reliable, which is the core of the debate about true recovered memories versus false memories. Proven by scientific research and studies, it is clear that the recovery of repressed traumatic memories are impossible and that when people claim they experience…show more content…
A study that supports this argument is called, “Childhood Memory and a History of Different Forms of Abuse” by Timothy P. Melchert. This study used a self report questionnaire, called the Family Background Questionnaire, which was given to adults who attended a large university. Within these students, just over one quarter indicated that they had experienced one or more forms of child abuse (physical abuse, emotional abuse, or sexual abuse). These subjects were then asked to rate the clarity and accuracy of their memories about the abuse. The proportion of physically abused and emotionally abused participants that reported recovering abuse memories were 21% and 18% respectively. Also, over one half of the subjects who reported recovering memories of abuse stated that they did lack conscious access to their abuse memories during a period of time in their life. This study does infer that there are people who have experienced some sort of repression of childhood mmemories. However, since it was a self-report test and there was no scientific methods used, so the responses about repressed memories could be false. As a whole, this study doesn’t add much significance to the side of the debate that recovery of true memories is possible due to the lack of scientific

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