The Recovered Memory/False Memory Debate

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9780125529754: The Recovered Memory/False Memory Debate

A debate has been raging in courtrooms, journals, and the popular press about the validity of recovered memories. The memories in question are of childhood sexual abuse, mistreatment, and trauma. They have tremendous power for harm or healing, for righting of wrongs or for unjust accusations; it all depends on their validity. Is it possible for a memory to be lost and then "recovered?" What is the validity of such a memory? Can children be persuaded that events did or did not happen? What causes childhood amnesia and are traumatic childhood memories more or less likely to be remembered than nontraumatic ones? This book examines these and other complex but critical questions. It presents the latest contributions from researchers representing the full range of positions on the issues and using many different approaches to the questions.
The topics are organized as follows. Section I covers the effects of emotion and stress on memory in children. Section II contains analyses of the development of normal autobiographical memory as a context for understanding how childhood traumatic events might be recalled, whether at the time by children, or later by adults. Section III covers the suggestibility of memory. This issue is central because therapists may unwittingly induce false memories in their patients, and abusers may suggest to their victims that their memories are imaginary. Whether and how these can happen depends on suggestibility. The veracity of child witnesses also hinges to a great degree on their suggestibility. Section IV contains some examples from current literature and is the only place where the reports on recovered memories from both the American and the British Psychological Associations can be found.

Key Features
* The effects of emotion and stress on memory in children
* How our personal autobiographies develop, and how traumatic memories are incorporated in them
* Perspectives on the suggestibility of memory in children and adults
* Reports of the American and British Psychological Associations on recovered memory
* Important findings on the accuracy of memories of childhood and the accuracy of child witnesses
* An essential source for all counselors and therapists

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Review:

"This recent controversy/debate/war has seen the publication of several books in the scientific and popular media... I wont hesitate to say that The Recovered Memory/False Memory Debate edited by Kathy Pezdek and William P. Banks is perhaps the most balanced and scholarly. The book is useful for clinicians, researchers, and clinical researchers, and should be regarded as a must for any person especially interested in the scientific aspects of the memory debate."
--AMERICAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL HYPNOSIS
"A very balanced book, filled with articles on BOTH sides of the debate. So if you're ready to learn more about what people are battling about, check this book out."
--R.A.I.N.B.O.W. BRIDGES

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