Roosevelt University Memory Therapy – Repressed Memory Discussion

Before beginning, be sure to read Chapter 10 and view the required Loftus Video. In this forum, we will view videos that illustrate three important memory topics: Repressed memory therapy, Eyewitness testimony, and Alien abductions. View all the videos provided for each of these topics. In your posting describe how many textbook memory concepts you see illustrated. Explain with actual examples. Page 165 (study question 10.1) has a list of memory concepts introduced in this chapter. Whenever you introduce a textbook memory concept, use the CAPCON system (see syllabus). Be concrete and explicit. Your grade will be based on how many Page 165 concepts you find, and how well you explain how they are illustrated in your video.


In one video on alien abductions, a therapist uses hypnosis and the patient has a memory of being abducted by a flying saucer. That was so fake!


In the Jon Smith video on alien abductions, Professor Smith is hypnotized in order to uncover what are called “repressed memories” of an incident in which he claims he was taken away by flying saucers from a different universe. The hypnotist first induced a relaxing trance. Then she had him vividly imagine being taken away by aliens. After the hypnosis episode, Smith claims to have a vivid memory of the abduction, complete with details of the flying saucer and the little green aliens. ANALYSIS: I think this could be an example of IMAGINATION INFLATION, which the text describes as creating and enhancing a memory by having one vividly imagine a fantasy, which then becomes an implanted memory.





Memory error


Repressed memory

1. In “Repressed Memory Therapy” video clip we learn that 1983 in Martin’s preschool owners were accused of molesting children in the bazaar and horrible satanic rituals. After a dozen families were destroyed and more than $14 million were spent FBI investigation found no evidence of molesting or any evidence of organized satanic cults. Often Psychiatrists were accused of causing damage by using “repressed memory therapy” where they implant false memory by asking leading questions using different techniques such as hypnosis, guided imagery body therapy, and literal dream interpretation. In 1999 Dr. Loftus conducted a study on demonic beliefs on 65 college students. The most of students didn’t believe in demonic possession or exorcism but after they gave them false information and allowed them to read articles about demonic possession and testimonials some of the students begin to think they experienced and witnessed demonic possession as children. ANALYSIS: I think this is the case of FALSE MEMORY more specifically MISINFORMATION EFFECT since this was the case were exposure to misleading information leads students to distortion of recollections.

2. In the second video clip, we learned how kids could be ritually abused. Kids were fighting ritual abuse by disassociation. Dr. Loftus defended memory repression case retrieval. The claim was about molestation spanning from age 5 to 23 buried in unconscious until the person goes to therapy. Women were led by suggestive technique to come to believe to have experiences that they didn’t have. ANALYSIS: I think this could be an example of FALSE MEMORY SYNDROM because this memory was retrieved with the help of Psychiatrists by using suggestive technique through imagery and hypnosis.

Eyewitness Testimony

1. In the “The Eyewitness Test: How do you stack up?” we heard the story about bandana bandit and different accounts of people who witnessed a crime. Major Scott Stevens who investigated the case states that what people see and what happened can be very different. Often time people include their own life experiences in the description of what they actually witnessed. The study that was conducted with a group of students of criminal science and criminal justice revealed that they have a different memory of assailant. ANALYSIS: I believe this could be an example of an error in SENSORY memory which was then transferred into SHORT-TERM MEMORY. Also, this can be considered as CRYPTOMNESIA, which in the book is described as another name for SOURCE MEMORY ERROR. This case can also be IMAGINATION INFLATION.

2. In the video about Chris who was a subject regarding the false memory experiment, his family was recording in the journal some real events. They also added false event about being lost in the shopping mall. After Chris read about being lost in the shopping mall he ultimately remembered as a genuine. He described the incident in particular details, and he even described a particular older man who approached him. ANALYSIS: I think this could be an example of IMPLANTED PSEUDOMEMORIES, which the text describes as the misinformation effect typically refers to the distortion of one or two details.

3. In the Jennifer Thompson video from 1984, we learned how she tried to stay alive and to remember her assailant. She gave a very detailed description of the person who assaulted her. She even picked assailant from a photo lineup and physical lineup. The wrong person was sentenced to jail where he spent next 11 years when he was cleared because of DNA evidence. This was a case of faulty eyewitness testimony. Also, a study done by professor Gary Wells with more than 300 subjects showed how difficult it is to select the correct person from a photo lineup. The study showed that most people believe that an offender has to be in a photo or physical lineup therefore they have to select someone. Reinforcement alters memory. ANALYSIS: I think this could be an example of SOURCE MONITORING ERROR, which the text describes as the inability to determine the source of each part of memory accurately.

Alien Abductions

1. In the “10 Disturbing Alien Abductions,” we heard 1o different cases of alien encounters and abductions. Most of the cases are from America, only one from Russia, and also except the last one other encounter happened 20 to 40 years ago. ANALYSIS: We don’t have lots of information, but I believe this can represent the case of DÉJÀ VU, which in the book is described as results of stress and fatigue.

2. In the Michael Shermer video clip we learn about Molly from New York who claims to have repeated visitation from aliens throughout of her life. She dreamed of white paw coming into her neck and placing a small stick. Another encounter involved her vivid memory of being transported to aliens’ spacecraft. ANALYSIS: I think this could be an example of IMAGINATION INFLATION, which in the text is described as a creating and enhancing memory by having one vividly imagine a fantasy, which then becomes an implanted memory.


Repressed Memory Videos:

The repressed memory videos presents the information about uncovered repressed memories of molestation by satanic cults or other stressful memories as an effect of FALSE MEMORY SYNDROME. A discussion of how these types of memories are created is discussed. Through REPRESSED MEMORY THERAPY’S techniques of hypnosis, guided imagery, body memories, and literal dream interpretation it is quite likely that these memories are IMPLANTED PSEUDOMEMORIES (these involve extensive memory errors). When a therapist is using this type of therapy, it is likely that the word choice of the therapist acts as a form of PRIMING WORDS, can be stored as an IMPLICIT MEMORY, and later recalled making a false memory more likely to be recalled. It is possible that IMAGINATION INFLATION is taking place because according to the TEXT: “Recalling a memory (false or otherwise) may well strengthen its vividness and detail, especially when relaxation and visualization strategies are used (p.300).”

Eyewitness Testimony Videos:

The Lost in a Shopping Mall video presents the research from Elizabeth Loftus that demonstrated how a FALSE MEMORY could be created as an IMPLANTED MEMORY. Parents of college students wrote about some true events and a false event (that their child was lost in a shopping mall), when the shopping mall scenario was brought up again, it was remembered as factual.

The videos about the eyewitness testimony from 60 minutes presented the case of a man wrongfully accused of raping a woman. One source of error for this false memory is the ILLUSION OF TRUTH EFFECT. This came into play when the woman was presented with photos of men who “may or may not” have been the perpetrator. As she looked through the photos she described narrowing them down as if it were a test until she selected one face. So it is as if in her mind one of them had to be the one who raped her, regardless of of the fact that it may not have been one of the photos. Another source of error was FAMILIARITY (FROM REPETITION) IS TRUTH because the woman selected the one photo and then when she picked the man out of the lineup she selected the same man, when really her memory may have been linking back to the photos.

Alien Abduction Videos:

The Little Green Men video discuss the mixing of memories with tv, movies, pop culture, and real life space exploration. CRYPTOMNESIA (SOURCE MEMORY ERROR), is the unintentional forgetting of the source of a memory, and may be an explanation for alien abductions. Because memory is reconstructive, it can be prone to error. It is also likely that SAYING IS BELIEVING is at play. When someone is making a paranormal claim that they have been abducted by aliens, their story may be more accepted by news reporter as sensational. By making the memory “fit” with the audience’s desire for a “good story,” they in turn, become more sure that this is what happened to them.