It's often worrying how little knowledge of modern academic psychology there is out there, especially among professional people who work with the public and who need to know better. I particularly remember the Satanic Ritual Abuse scare in the late 80s/early 90s, which was largely being driven by a completely outmoded idea of how memory works. Even by the 80s, it was known that it was not possible for someone to 'record' an event exactly as it happened, completely forget about it, and then recover it (particularly under hypnosis) exactly as it happened with no interference from later experience. It was known that hypnosis was not a valid way to recover memory, and that the whole concept of 'repressed memory' was ill-conceived - the problems people who work with trauma victims have is getting them to forget, not to remember! And it was known that if a therapist asked questions in a certain 'leading' way it was possible to create a false memory in a patient. But social workers, and other people who shoould have known better took no account of this (or possibly didn't know it), and the result was that several innocent families were traumatised. I don't know how much this has to do with the McCann case, but obviously, the police and law enforcement now have to deal with the fact that memory doesn't work like a recording.
EDit: a characteristic of a true memory rather than a false one is that a true memory will tend to be detailed and coherent - a lot of inconsistencies can indicate a false memory - or a lie.
- Posts : 177
Reputation : 2
Join date : 2011-06-21