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Chapter 3 - Historical themes in the study of recovered and false memories of trauma

from Section 1 - Early life trauma: impact on health and disease

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 May 2011

Ruth A. Lanius
Affiliation:
University of Western Ontario
Eric Vermetten
Affiliation:
Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands
Clare Pain
Affiliation:
University of Toronto
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Summary

This chapter explains why the loss and recovery of trauma memory is considered to be controversial. It also explores the historical themes that maintain or exacerbate the controversy. Consensus papers have appeared in scientific journals, at times written jointly by clinical researchers and non-clinical cognitive researchers. The chapter emphasizes that extremity is obviously in the eye of the beholder and details a few of the historical sources of the zealotry. The acrimony that has fueled the debate on recovered memory has abated in most arenas, clearing the way for scientific research that has clearly established the reality of the phenomena of both false memory (FM) and accurate recovered memory. Further work will benefit from a clearer distinction between the study of phenomena (both recovered and FM) and their mechanisms (suggestion, repression, and dissociation), and direct and forthright debate about the nature and weight of types of evidence.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2010

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