Magazine article Skeptic (Altadena, CA)

Recovered or False Memories?

Magazine article Skeptic (Altadena, CA)

Recovered or False Memories?

Article excerpt

Since SKEPTIC began in 1992 we have been following the debate about recovered memories versus false memories, with a strong slant to the probability that most so-called "recovered" memories of childhood sexual abuse, particularly those for which no corroborative evidence exists, are actually false memories planted by therapists into the minds of their patients. To be fair in our reporting we note that a recent British study argues that some of these recovered memories can be verified, and thus may have some basis in truth. The debate continues:

LONDON, March 15 (Reuters)--British scientists say they have cast doubts on the prevalence of False Memory Syndrome and the idea that recovered memories are often bogus ones induced by therapists.

The theory that memories of events which never occurred can be constructed by suggestion during therapy has been used successfully as a defense by those accused of child abuse, to discredit children's testimony.

Researchers at University College London claim their study of data from 236 adults with recovered memories shows many are of true past events, "There is now consistent evidence that 'False Memory Syndrome' cannot explain all, or even most, examples of recovered memories of trauma' the British Psychological Society said in a statement "There is increasing evidence that many recovered memories cannot be explained by so-called False Memory Syndrome. To date there is no convincing evidence for a specific False Memory Syndrome' Dr. …

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