This essay sample on Memory Reconstruction provides all necessary basic information on this matter, including the most common “for and against” arguments. Below are the introduction, body and conclusion parts of this essay.
There are a number of serious social problems in the society today which include childhood sexual abuse among other crimes. When these occur, sometimes it is possible for the memories to be hidden in the unconscious as the mind tends to block scary episodes of abuse or the whole of childhood and resurface later in adulthood.
The quality of these memories differ from one individual to the other, where they can be detailed and vivid or very faint sometimes and mostly tell of events occurring in early childhood or adolescence.
At times, these memories are thought not to be true but just a recollection of the things said by others. Recovered Memory Therapy (RMT), which was initially used, has been found to lack proper validity and is therefore termed as toxic therapy (Robinson, 2008).
The following paper will discuss false memory in relation to recent research performed concerning it. False Memory One of the most haunting psychological experiences is repression which occurs when the mind pushes shocking experience to an inaccessible unconscious position.
At times, however this may later reoccur into consciousness as a condition referred to as false memory syndrome which is defined as the memory of an imagined event normally traumatic and previously occurring (Stedman’s medical dictionary, 2006). False memories occur as a byproduct of the cognitive system functioning in the effort to escape from self awareness.
A good example is the occurrence of some memories of childhood sexual abuse after repression for about 20 to 40 years which led to suing of alleged perpetrators who were mainly family members and household workers (Loftus, 1993).
Although the authenticity of regressed memory is questioned, the details and confidence often associated with it form the basis of psychoanalysis and is used in an increasing number of civil law suits. This is because childhood is an important concept of psychoanalysis as it is the stage of attachment and forms an example that sets an emotional stage of later relationships (Braun, Ellis, & Loftus, 2002). In addition, the symptoms associated such as inflicted injury also add up as evidence.
Through counseling and therapeutic intervention, normally the memories resurface when the victims enter psychotherapy due to various related factors. In these circumstances the therapists use RMT to recover memories that involve various recollections of real events which happened during childhood. It is based on the belief traumatic memories like sexual abuse in childhood are forgotten or repressed and recovered during therapy (Robinson, 2008). From these clinical points it was noted that repression constituted overwhelming and obvious proof hence accurate.
However, some psychiatrics dispute these theories terming them as empirical and lack experimental scientific confirmation. Some controversies also arise when accused deny the charges by the adults resulting in the questioning about who is telling the truth and who is lying (Loftus, 1993). Generation of False Memory The accuracy of these memories might be deter red by internally derived defense mechanism such as fantasy, illusions, and screen memories that are mediated by hallucinations, borrowed ideas, characters and myths or externally derived from a therapist’s or special relation’s unintentional suggestion implantation.
Moreover, popular writings which influence the creation of memories through the steps they provide and suggestions of a therapist, who at times do not take no for an answer and use dreams, often lead to the creation of theses memories. Additionally, they inclusion of age regression, guided visualization, writing in trance, body work and hypnosis and the fact that therapy takes place in private makes it difficult to follow what takes place (Loftus E. , 1995). This is depicted in a study conducted by Loftus and Pickrell, (Macrae et. al.
, 2002 ) where most participants were persuaded by their suggestions and encouraged on having done a particular thing in their childhood such as getting lost in a shopping center and being rescued by an aged person. Most of the people then elaborated and produced evidence on these false experiences uniquely, thus creating alternatives to reality. Such instances include memory of non existent objects or totally different situations. Marketers, through advertising can also cause the creation of such memories by taking advantage of the memory’s reconstructive nature (Robinson, 2008).
In this way, a consumer may think that he has participated in an event whereas they only viewed an advert of the event (Macrae et. al. , 2002 ). Due to the impact of false memories especially when used in courts, a number of investigations have been done concerning creation of false memory through exposure to misinformation which causes distortion to the memory. These evidences have been provided by private investigators that go undercover into offices of therapists pretending to be patients. Although all recovered memories may not be authentic, it is not true to say that they are all false.
According to new research, recovered memory is a very extraordinary condition which should only be believed if clear evidence is presented. Researchers argue that most of them are not related to real events. Generally, it is believed that memories of occurrences before the age of 2 years cannot be recovered as they cannot be remembered into adulthood while those below the age of three years are uncommon and unreliable. Therefore, claims of some adults about occurrences related to abuse below the age of six months are absolutely unfounded hence false memory.
It has also been discovered that people who experience abuse after the ages of four or five rarely forget them. In addition, studies performed on people who have suffered terrible childhood abuse such as kidnapping and watching their parents’ killing reflect their desire to forget them without success as opposed regression (Braun, Ellis, & Loftus, 2002). Conclusion The performance of unproven and experimental RMT on clients led to numerous destroyed families which were never recovered hence a lot of human suffering and preventable suicide which could have been avoided through proper and careful design of publicized studies.
It has since been abandoned by counselors and therapists. In addition more evidence should be provided in cases of memory repression to prevent false claims. List of References Braun, K. A. , Ellis, R. , & Loftus, E. F. (2002). Make My Memory. Psychology & Marketing . 19(1), 1–23. New York, USA: John Wiley & Sons. Loftus, E. F. (1993). The Reality of Repressed Memories. American Psychologist . 48, 518-537. Loftus, E. , 1995. Remembering Dangerously. March / April 19(2). Retrieved from The Committee for Sceptical Inquiry:< http://www. csicop.
org/si/show/remembering_dangerously/> on 26th July, 2010. Macrae, C. N. , Schloerscheidt, A. M. , Bodenhausen, G. V. , & Milne, A. B. , 2002). Creating Memory Illusions: Expectancy-Based Processing and the Generation of False Memories. Memory . 10(1), 63–80. Robinson, B. (2008, September 3). Repression of Childhood Memories. Retrieved from Religious tolerance:< http://www. religioustolerance. org/rmt_ofte. htm> on 26th July , 2010. Stedman’s medical dictionary, 2006. Definition. ‘False Memory Syndrome’ . Pennsylvania, USA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.