• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"In reality, both the 'repressed memory' and the 'false memory' positions are probably at least partially correct" (Matlin, 1998). Discuss this statement with reference to evidence from cognitive psychology.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"In reality, both the 'repressed memory' and the 'false memory' positions are probably at least partially correct" (Matlin, 1998). Discuss this statement with reference to evidence from cognitive psychology. When forming a memory, the brain takes what we see, hear, smell and or taste, and fills in the blank spots with information that we have perceived from common knowledge and stores it as a memory. But sometimes something happens that is so shocking that the mind grabs hold of the memory and pushes it underground, into some inaccessible corner of the unconscious. There it sleeps for years, or even decades, or even forever, isolated from the rest of mental life. Then, one day it may rise up and emerge into consciousness. When the unconscious tucks away a memory, to hopefully be forgotten, it is called 'Repression'. Repression is a defence mechanism derived from Sigmund Freud near the beginning of the century. If a person cannot recall a memory, was it ever really a memory? Did it ever really happen? If so, can the conscious be manipulated and made to think that, through controversial methods such as hypnosis or a truth serum called sodium pentathol, a false event actually happened? And if these false events are believed, then can the manipulated mind be used in court cases to sue the people who caused the traumatic experience? ...read more.

Middle

A survey of 810 chartered psychologists indicated that 90 per cent believed recovered memories to be sometimes or 'essentially' correct, a very small percentage believed that they are always correct. In addition, 66 per cent believed that they are possible, and 14 per cent believed that one of their own clients has experienced false memories (British Psychological Society, 1995). Those who believe in repressed memories of childhood dramatic events cite evidence such as that of Williams (1994). (Please refer to Appendix 1.). There has been a fierce and bitter controversy between those who believe that these recovered memories are genuine and those who argue that such memories are false. The 'False Memory Syndrome' has no well-established scientific recognition and is not a recognised medical condition. The idea of such a 'disorder' was developed by the False Memory Syndrome Foundation in 1992. It was established to provide emotional support for accused parents themselves. It has been said that therapists believe everything their clients say, without checking with outside sources to see if the information was correct. The False Memory Syndrome Foundation emphasises that this practice is immoral, because the therapist is working to develop memories of events, not even knowing if the memories are true. This may lead to false accusations and stress in the family. ...read more.

Conclusion

Williams (1994, p.1174) concluded as follows: 'If, as these findings suggest, having no recall of sexual abuse is a fairly common event, later recovery of memories of sexual abuse by some women should not be surprising.' In fact 16% of those women who recalled being abused said that there had been periods of time in the past when they could remember the abuse. There was one finding that did not fit the Freud's repression hypothesis: he would have expected those women who suffered the most severe abuse to show the worst recall, but the opposite is what was actually found. Appendix 2. Ceci (1995) asked preschool children to think about a range of real and fictitious but plausible events over a 10-week period. The children found it hard to distinguish between the real and fictitious events, with 58% of them providing detailed stories of fictitious events that they falsely believed had occurred. Psychologists who were experienced in interviewing children watched videotapes of the stories, and could not tell which events were real and which were false. Appendix 3. Hyman, Husband and Billing (1995) were able to induce about 25% of their undergraduate participants to falsely 'recall' different childhood events: being hospitalised for an ear infection, having a fifth birthday party with a pizza and a clown, spilling punch at a wedding reception, being in the grocery store when sprinklers went off, and being left in a parked car, releasing the parking brake and having the car role into something. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Cognitive Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Cognitive Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Are memories permanent and unalterable?

    4 star(s)

    Skeptics and many clinicians support the argument that recovered memories are fabrications and they evaluate this opinion with scientific evidence. The phenomenon of infantile amnesia is one of them, and suggests that things learned from specific experiences during infancy are forgotten rapidly and it's unlike to be remembered at all during adulthood.

  2. SHORT TERM MEMORY

    The target population were all sixth form students from Brinsworth Comprehensive School, Rotherham, South Yorkshire. MATERIALS Materials are essential for this investigation to occur. A list of 10 words was needed. The experimenter for each group would read them out.

  1. 'Organisation in Memory'.

    Results By analysing my raw data (see appendix 4) it is clear that the organisation of words did have effect on how many were recalled. Most of my participants performed better on the recall test when they had learned the organised wordlist than those who had learned the disorganised word list.

  2. Memory is an important area of study in Psychology because it underpins our other ...

    The sheets were placed face down in front of the subject along with a pen. Once each subject had a pen and a piece of paper they were then allowed to recall the list of words for 1minute 30seconds, this was timed.

  1. Investigating the short-term memory

    The results recorded for the investigation do support some aspects of the background studies mentioned in the introduction. Atkinson & Shiffrin proposed the idea of a multi-store model, which compares the mental procedures of human to that of computer operations.

  2. Psychology Report

    The range for condition A and B are equal, therefore the words accurately recalled are about the same so memory of participant in both conditions were similar, Standard deviation are both small, nearly close to 1, therefore shows how closely it is distributed about the mean, so again memories of

  1. What is Psychology ?

    participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts that conflicted with their personal conscience. By modern standards, an experiment of this kind would not be allowed today because of the administering of electric shocks but also participants were not fully debriefed and some participants indicated that they never fully understood the purpose of the experiment.

  2. Course work on memory

    The results showed that as the word was altered i.e. suggested a higher speed, the estimated speed increased as well. Aim This experiment will be investigating the of leading questions on Eye-witness testimony It will replicate the study done by Loftus and Palmer (1975)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work