The nature of real, implanted, and fabricated memories for emotional childhood events: implications for the recovered memory debate.
Department of Psychology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. email@example.com
A central issue in the recovered memory debate is whether it is possible to "remember" a highly emotional incident which never occurred. The present study provided an in-depth investigation of real, implanted, and fabricated (deceptive) memories for stressful childhood events. We examined whether false memories for emotional events could be implanted and, if so, whether real, implanted, and fabricated memories had distinctive features. A questionnaire was sent to participants' parents asking about six highly emotional, stressful events (e.g., serious animal attack) which the participant may have experienced in childhood. Next, across three sessions, interviewers encouraged participants (N = 77) to "recover" a memory for a false event using guided imagery and repeated retrieval attempts. In the first interview, they were asked about one real and one false event, both introduced as true according to their parents. In two subsequent interviews, they were reinterviewed about the false event. Finally, after the third inquiry about the false event, participants were asked to fabricate a memory report. Results indicated that 26% of participants "recovered" a complete memory for the false experience and another 30% recalled aspects of the false experience. Real, implanted, and fabricated memories differed on several dimensions (e.g., confidence, vividness, details, repeated details, coherence, stress). These findings have important implications for the debate over recovered and false memories.
Law Hum Behav. 2011 Feb 8;: 21301943
Crocodile Tears: Facial, Verbal and Body Language Behaviours Associated with Genuine and Fabricated Remorse.
University of British Columbia, Kelowna, BC, Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emotional deception is a common behaviour that can have major consequences if undetected. For example, the sincerity of an offender's expressed remorse is an important factor in sentencing and parole hearings. The present study was the first to investigate the nature of true and false remorse. We examined facial, verbal and body language behaviours associated with emotional deception in videotaped accounts of true personal transgressions accompanied by either genuine or falsified remorse. Analyses of nearly 300,000 frames indicated that descriptions of falsified remorse were associated with a greater range of emotional expressions. Further, sequential analyses revealed that negative emotions were more commonly followed by other emotions-rather than a return to neutral emotion-in falsified versus sincere remorse. Participants also exhibited more speech hesitations while expressing deceptive relative to genuine remorse. In general, the results suggest that falsified remorse may be conceived as an emotionally turbulent display of deliberate, falsified expressions and involuntary, genuine, emotional leakage. These findings are relevant to judges and parole board members who consider genuine remorse to be an important factor in sentencing and release decisions.
Psychology Department, University of Warwick, Coventry, England. email@example.com
When people receive descriptions or doctored photos of events that never happened, they often come to remember those events. But if people receive both a description and a doctored photo, does the order in which they receive the information matter? We asked people to consider a description and a doctored photograph of a childhood hot air balloon ride, and we varied which medium they saw first. People who saw a description first reported more false images and memories than did people who saw a photo first, a result that fits with an anchoring account of false childhood memories.
Int J Law Psychiatry. ;32 (5):329-34 19647319
Michael Woodworth, Stephen Porter, Leanne Ten Brinke, Naomi L Doucette, Kristine Peace, Mary Ann Campbell
University of British Columbia - Okanagan, Canada. Michael.Woodworth@ubc.ca
Defendants commonly claim amnesia for their criminal actions especially in cases involving extreme violence. While some claims are malingered or result from physiological factors, other cases may represent genuine partial or complete amnesia resulting from the psychological distress and/or extreme emotion associated with the perpetration of the crime. Fifty Canadian homicide offenders described their memories of their homicide, a non-homicide violent offense, and their most positive adulthood life experience. Self-reported and objective measures of memories for these events revealed that homicides were recalled with the greatest level of detail and sensory information. Although dissociative tendencies were associated with a self-reported memory loss, objective measures of memory quality did not reflect this perceived impairment, suggesting a failure of meta-memory. Recollections of positive life events were superior to those of non-homicidal violence, possibly due to greater impact and meaning attached to such experiences. Findings suggest that memory for homicide typically is enhanced by the powerful emotion associated with its perpetration.
Department of Psychology, Harvard University, 33 Kirkland Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Are elevated rates of false recall and recognition in the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm associated with false autobiographical memories in everyday life? To investigate this issue, the authors recruited participants who reported improbable memories of past lives and compared their DRM performance with that of control participants who reported having lived only one life (i.e., their current one). Relative to control participants, those reporting memories of past lives exhibited significantly higher false recall and recognition rates in the DRM paradigm, and they scored higher on measures of magical ideation and absorption as well. The groups did not differ on correct recall, recognition, or intelligence. False memory propensity in the DRM paradigm may tap proneness for developing false memories outside the laboratory.
University of Leicester, UK. email@example.com
Many people believe that emotional memories (including those that arise in therapy) are particularly likely to represent true events because of their emotional content. But is emotional content a reliable indicator of memory accuracy? The current research assessed the emotional content of participants' pre-existing (true) and manipulated (false) memories for childhood events. False memories for one of three emotional childhood events were planted using a suggestive manipulation and then compared, along several subjective dimensions, with other participants' true memories. On most emotional dimensions (e.g., how emotional was this event for you?), true and false memories were indistinguishable. On a few measures (e.g., intensity of feelings at the time of the event), true memories were more emotional than false memories in the aggregate, yet true and false memories were equally likely to be rated as uniformly emotional. These results suggest that even substantial emotional content may not reliably indicate memory accuracy.
Memory. 2008 ;16 (5):475-84 18569677
Creating false memories for events that occurred before versus after the offset of childhood amnesia.
University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. firstname.lastname@example.org
We examined whether false images and memories for childhood events are more likely when the event supposedly took place during the period of childhood amnesia. Over three interviews, participants recalled six events: five true and one false. Some participants were told that the false event happened when they were 2 years old (Age 2 group), while others were told that it happened when they were 10 years old (Age 10 group). We compared participants' reports of the false event to their reports of a true event from the same age. Consistent with prior research on childhood amnesia, participants in the Age 10 group were more likely than participants in the Age 2 group to remember their true event and they reported more information about it. Participants in the Age 2 group, on the other hand, were more likely to develop false images and memories than participants in the Age 10 group. Furthermore, once a false image or memory developed, there were no age-related differences in the amount of information participants reported about the false event. We conclude that childhood amnesia increases our susceptibility to false suggestion, thus our results have implications for court cases where early memories are at issue.
School of Psychology Victoria, University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington, New Zealand.
Since the invention of photography we have learned to rely on photos to help us remember significant moments in our lives. We have come to believe that photographs are accurate and valuable records of events that-years down the track-we may not be able to remember. In this paper, we review recent research demonstrating that photographs can also help us to "remember" events that never really happened. We trace the development of the leading false autobiographical memory paradigm, and we then describe research on the power of both fake narrative stories and fake photographs to cultivate false memories.
Familiarity breeds distortion: The effects of media exposure on false reports concerning media coverage of the terrorist attacks in London on 7 July 2005.
The present experiment investigated whether increased media exposure could lead to an increase in memory distortions regarding a traumatic public event: the explosion of the No. 30 bus in Tavistock Square, London on 7 July 2005. A total of 150 Swedish and 150 UK participants completed a series of questionnaires about their memory of either (i) the aftermath of the explosion,(ii) a non-existent computerised reconstruction of the moment of the explosion, or (iii) non-existent closed circuit television footage of the moment of the explosion. In line with the availability heuristic, UK participants were more likely than Swedish participants to claim to have seen all three types of footage. Furthermore, a sub-sample of UK participants who appeared to have developed false "memories" of seeing the No. 30 bus explode scored significantly higher on measures of dissociation and fantasy proneness than participants who did not develop false "memories". This experiment provides further support for the role of imaginative processes in the development of false memories.
The scars of memory: a prospective, longitudinal investigation of the consistency of traumatic and positive emotional memories in adulthood.
Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. email@example.com
We conducted a prospective study with individuals who first described their memories of both a recent traumatic and a highly positive emotional experience in 2001-2002. Of the 49 subjects interviewed after 3 months, 29 were re-interviewed after 3.45 to 5.0 years. Subjects answered questions from a 12-item consistency questionnaire (maximum possible score of 36), rated the qualities of their memories, and completed questionnaires concerning the impact of the trauma. Results indicated that traumatic memories (including memories for violence) were highly consistent (M= 28.04) over time relative to positive memories (M= 17.75). Ratings of vividness, overall quality, and sensory components declined markedly for positive memories but remained virtually unchanged for traumatic memories. The severity of traumatic symptoms diminished over time and was unrelated to memory consistency. These findings contribute to understanding of the impact of trauma on memory over long periods.
Simona Ghetti, Robin S Edelstein, Gail S Goodman, Ingrid M Cordòn, Jodi A Quas, Kristen Weede Alexander, Allison D Redlich, David P H Jones
Department of Psychology, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
In the present study, we examined the prevalence and predictors of subjective forgetting (i.e., self-reported amnesia) of child sexual abuse (CSA). Adults who, as children, were involved as victims in legal prosecutions were questioned about their CSA experiences, which had been documented in the 1980s, and about lost and recovered memory of those experiences. Males and individuals who experienced more severe abuse were more likely to report forgetting. The majority of individuals attributed their forgetting to active attempts to avoid thinking about the abuse. In contrast, when predictors of subjective forgetting were used to predict objective memory of abuse, more severe abuse and more extended legal involvement were associated with fewer memory errors. The differences between subjective and objective memory underscore the risks of using subjective measures to assess lost memory of abuse.
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Department of Psychology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 4J1. email@example.com
In a recent study, more than half of the participants were led to create a partial or complete false memory for an emotional childhood event (e.g., serious animal attack). Using a subsample from that study, we examined the hypothesis that memory distortion is related to characteristics of interviewers and rememberers. The relations between susceptibility to memory distortion and (a) dissociation (Dissociative Experiences Scale) and (b) personality traits (NEO-Five Factor Inventory) were investigated. Results indicated that participants who exhibited memory distortion scored significantly higher on the dissociative scale than their counterparts who did not exhibit memory distortion. Further, susceptibility to memory distortion was associated with higher extraversion scores in interviewers and lower extraversion scores in participants. This pattern of findings suggests that false memories may derive from a social negotiation between particular interviewers and rememberers.
Department of Psychology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 4J1, Canada V6T 1Z4. firstname.lastname@example.org
There is currently a complex and inconsistent state in the law relating to dissociation and dissociative amnesia (McSherry, 1998). Although dissociative amnesia in defendants is relevant to both competency to stand trial and criminal responsibility in principle, courts have typically assumed a skeptical stance toward such claims in practice. However, there is considerable evidence from both nonoffender and offender populations to support the validity of dissociative amnesia in defendants. Further, there is information available to aid in the evaluation of amnesia, such as the quality of the report itself and characteristics of the person reporting the amnesia (e.g., psychopathy). When consideration is given to the legal response to reports of dissociative amnesia by complainants, the situation becomes even more complex. While some courts have rejected recovered memory evidence, others have convicted defendants of historical offenses based on such evidence. In some cases, judges have argued that jurors should be left to decide on the validity of recovered memories based on their common sense and experience. The uncritical acceptance of the validity of repressed memories in complainants by many courts stands in stark contrast to the response to claims of amnesia from defendants. It seems apparent that the courts need better guidelines around the issue of dissociative amnesia in both populations. We think that the increasing scientific understanding of memory in the past decade (see Schacter, 1999) can meaningfully contribute to the development of such guidelines. Responsible, nonpartisan expert testimony from mental health professionals would be one step in the direction of rectifying the current state of law in regards to dissociation.
Dept. of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
Children with hearing impairments have been found to suffer a high rate of physical and sexual victimization relative to children in general. The purpose of this investigation was to compare the amount and accuracy of the information contained in the eyewitness accounts of deaf and hearing children. Fifteen deaf and 11 hearing children, aged 8 to 10 years, individually witnessed a series of slides depicting a wallet theft. Their recall was then tested by using the Step-Wise Interview (Yuille, Hunter, Joffe,& Zaparniuk, 1993) consisting of a free recall component followed by increasingly directive questions. Separate 2 x 2 (deaf/hearing x question type) between-within factorial ANOVAs were conducted on the amount and accuracy of the information in the accounts (A =.025). Results indicated no main or interaction effects for amount recalled. However, a main effect for question type and an interaction effect were evidenced in the analysis on accuracy. Although the accuracy scores of the two groups did not differ in free recall, the deaf children provided much less accurate responses to directive questions whereas the accuracy of the hearing children declined only slightly. Implications for criminal investigations are discussed.
Should this child be removed from home? Hypothesis generation and information seeking as predictors of case decisions.
Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
Two vital aspects of the investigative process in child abuse and neglect (CAN) cases are (a) generating as many plausible hypotheses as possible and (b) seeking out as much uncontaminated information as possible. Alternatively, unwarranted assumptions about the nature of CAN cases can impair investigative decision making. We examined whether the numbers of (a) unwarranted assumptions,(b) hypotheses generated, and (c) requests for additional information concerning a hypothetical reported case of CAN predicted level of agreement with a premature decision to remove a child from home among a group of CAN professionals. As expected, lower levels of agreement with the intervention were associated with (a) less unwarranted assumptions,(b) a greater number of hypotheses generated, and (c) more requests for information concerning the case. Compared with a group of undergraduates, a significantly greater percentage of CAN professionals requested information, and a significantly smaller percentage of professionals made unwarranted assumptions. Interestingly, however, no significant difference in mean level of agreement with the intervention was observed between professionals and undergraduates. Directions for future research are discussed.
V Sankar, V Hearnden, K Hull, D Vidovic Juras, M S Greenberg, A R Kerr, P B Lockhart, L L Patton, S Porter, M Thornhill
Department of Comprehensive Dentistry, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, TX, USA.
There are few topical formulations used for oral medicine applications most of which have been developed for the management of dermatological conditions. As such, numerous obstacles are faced when utilizing these preparations in the oral cavity, namely enzymatic degradation, taste, limited surface area, poor tissue penetration and accidental swallowing. In this review, we discuss common mucosal diseases such as oral cancer, mucositis, vesiculo-erosive conditions, infections, neuropathic pain and salivary dysfunction, which could benefit from topical delivery systems designed specifically for the oral mucosa, which are capable of sustained release. Each condition requires distinct penetration and drug retention profiles in order to optimize treatment and minimize side effects. Local drug delivery may provide a more targeted and efficient drug-delivery option than systemic delivery for diseases of the oral mucosa. We identify those mucosal diseases currently being treated, the challenges that must be overcome and the potential of novel therapies. Novel biological therapies such as macromolecular biological drugs, peptides and gene therapy may be of value in the treatment of many chronic oral conditions and thus in oral medicine if their delivery can be optimized.
Br Dent J. 2010 Feb 27;208 (4):162-3 20186201
Summary of: Relationship between mercury levels in blood and urine and complaints of chronic mercury toxicity from amalgam restorations.
Director and Professor of Oral Medicine, UCL Eastman Dental Institute, London.
Aim To determine whether patients complaining of oral and medical symptoms perceived to be associated with chronic mercury toxicity have elevated mercury levels in their blood and urine.Methods The study group in this audit were 56 patients presenting to an oral medicine unit with complaints perceived to be related to chronic mercury toxicity. Their symptoms and co-morbidity were charted and mercury levels in blood and urine were biochemically tested by atomic absorption spectrophotometry.Results None had elevated mercury levels in blood or urine above the normal threshold level. Subgroup analysis showed subjects with oral lesions, autoimmune disorders and multiple sclerosis had relatively and significantly higher mercury levels within this cohort, but within the threshold values. When tested by multiple logistic regression adjusted for age and gender, mercury levels in blood or urine, numbers of amalgams were not significant for multiple sclerosis or previously diagnosed autoimmune disease.Conclusion Mercury levels in blood and urine of this cohort of patients with perceived chronic mercury toxicity were within the normal range in accordance with a national laboratory threshold value.
J Surg Res. 2010 Feb ;158 (2):243 20105878
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA.
Bronzino's 'Allegory of Venus and Cupid': an exemplary image for contemporary sexual health promotion?
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK. email@example.com
Recent sexual health promotion strategies have veered between a negative emphasis on the deleterious consequences of sexually transmitted infections, and a more positive, eroticized approach to safer sex. The differences in approach are starkly reflected in the images chosen to illustrate them. We note that there are problems with both approaches. The main purpose of this review is to demonstrate how this dichotomy was transcended by the sixteenth century Florentine Mannerist painter, Agnolo Bronzino, in his allegory on syphilis.
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J Exp Psychol Gen. 2012 Sep 17;: 22984953
Studies of text comprehension have amply demonstrated that when reading a story, people seek to identify the causal and motivational forces that drive the interactions of characters and link events (e.g., Zwaan, Langston,& Graesser, 1995), thereby achieving explanatory coherence. In the present study we provide the first evidence that the search for explanatory coherence also plays a role in the memory errors that result from suggestive forensic interviews. Using a forced fabrication paradigm (e.g., Chrobak & Zaragoza, 2008), we conducted 3 experiments to test the hypothesis that false memory development is a function of the explanatory role these forced fabrications served (the explanatory role hypothesis). In support of this hypothesis, participants were more likely to subsequently freely report (Experiment 1) and falsely assent to (Experiment 2) their forced fabrications when they helped to provide a causal explanation for a witnessed outcome than when they did not serve this explanatory role. Participants were also less likely to report their forced fabrications when their explanatory strength had been reduced by the presence of an alternative explanation that could explain the same outcome as their fabrication (Experiment 3). These findings extend prior research on narrative and event comprehension processes by showing that the search for explanatory coherence can continue for weeks after the witnessed event is initially perceived, such that causally relevant misinformation from subsequent interviews is, over time, incorporated into memory for the earlier witnessed event.(PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
Memory. 2012 Aug ;20 (6):638-44 22694108
When plausibility manipulations work: An examination of their role in the development of false beliefs and memories.
a Department of Psychology , Skidmore College , Saratoga Springs , NY , USA.
In the current study we examined whether prevalence information and imagery encoding influence participants' general plausibility, personal plausibility, belief, and memory ratings for suggested childhood events. Results showed decreases in general and personal plausibility ratings for low prevalence events when encoding instructions were not elaborate; however, instructions to repeatedly imagine suggested events elicited personal plausibility increases for low-prevalence events, evidence that elaborate imagery negated the effect of our prevalence manipulation. We found no evidence of imagination inflation or false memory construction. We discuss critical differences in researchers' manipulations of plausibility and imagery that may influence results of false memory studies in the literature. In future research investigators should focus on the specific nature of encoding instructions when examining the development of false memories.
Nebr Symp Motiv. 2012 ;58 :149-73 22303766
University College London, England, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org
If recovered memory experiences appear counter-intuitive, this is in part due to misconceptions about trauma and memory, and to a failure to adopt a comprehensive model of memory that distinguishes personal semantic memory, autobiographical event memory, and memory appraisal. Memory performance is generally superior when events, including traumas, are central to identity. Prolonged trauma in childhood, however, can produce severe identity disturbances that may interfere with the encoding and later retrieval of personal semantic and autobiographical event information. High levels of emotion either at encoding or recall can also interfere with the creation of coherent narrative memories. For example, high levels of shock and fear when memories are recovered unexpectedly may lead to the experience of vivid flashbacks. Memory appraisals may also influence the sense that an event has been forgotten for a long time. Recovered memories, although unusual, do not contradict what we know about how memory works.
Dev Psychol. 2012 Jan ;48 (1):111-22 22004342
Retrieval of episodic versus generic information: does the order of recall affect the amount and accuracy of details reported by children about repeated events?
Department of Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
Children (N = 157) 4 to 8 years old participated 1 time (single) or 4 times (repeated) in an interactive event. Across each condition, half were questioned a week later about the only or a specific occurrence of the event (depth first) and then about what usually happens. Half were prompted in the reverse order (breadth first). Children with repeated experience who first were asked about what usually happens reported more event-related information overall than those asked about an occurrence first. All children used episodic language when describing an occurrence; however, children with repeated-event experience used episodic language less often when describing what usually happens than did those with a single experience. Accuracy rates did not differ between conditions. Implications for theories of repeated-event memory are discussed.
Efficacy of forensic statement analysis in distinguishing truthful from deceptive eyewitness accounts of highly stressful events.
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, 234 Church Street, Suite #301, New Haven, CT 06510, USA. email@example.com
Laboratory-based detecting deception research suggests that truthful statements differ from those of deceptive statements. This nonlaboratory study tested whether forensic statement analysis (FSA) methods would distinguish genuine from false eyewitness accounts about exposure to a highly stressful event. A total of 35 military participants were assigned to truthful or deceptive eyewitness conditions. Genuine eyewitness reported truthfully about exposure to interrogation stress. Deceptive eyewitnesses studied transcripts of genuine eyewitnesses for 24 h and falsely claimed they had been interrogated. Cognitive Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and assessed by FSA raters blind to the status of participants. Genuine accounts contained more unique words, external and contextual referents, and a greater total word count than did deceptive statements. The type-token ratio was lower in genuine statements. The classification accuracy using FSA techniques was 82%. FSA methods may be effective in real-world circumstances and have relevance to professionals in law enforcement, security, and criminal justice.
J Anxiety Disord. 2011 Feb 2;: 21376527
Reducing vividness and emotional intensity of recurrent "flashforwards" by taxing working memory: An analogue study.
Iris M Engelhard, Marcel A van den Hout, Eliane C P Dek, Catharina L Giele, Jan-Willem van der Wielen, Marthe J Reijnen, Birgit van Roij
Clinical and Health Psychology, Utrecht University, PO Box 80140, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Several studies have found that making eye movements while retrieving visual images about past negative events reduces their vividness and emotional intensity. A working memory account states that eye movements tax working memory and interfere with visual imagery, thus degrading images. This study examined whether eye movements also affect recurrent, intrusive visual images about potential future catastrophes ("flashforwards") in a sample of female undergraduates who had indicated on a screening-scale that they suffer from such intrusions. They were asked to recall two intrusive images with or without making eye movements. Before and after each condition, participants retrieved the image, and rated its vividness and emotionality. Results showed that vividness of intrusive images was lower after recall with eye movement, relative to recall only, and there was a similar trend for emotionality. Potential implications are discussed.
Department of Psychology, University of California, Davis, California 95616, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Can readers accurately retrieve information about the context in which text comprehension occurs? If so, does their memory for context vary with their level of comprehension? Participants studied ambiguous passages in a high-knowledge or low-knowledge condition. They were then asked to remember the spatial location of individual sentences, the color of a border surrounding the passage, or the color of a shirt worn by the experimenter. Recall protocols were collected after participants answered the context question. Knowledge about the topic of the text facilitated both contextual retrieval and recall. Moreover, contextual retrieval and recall were correlated, primarily in the high-knowledge condition. The results suggest that personal experiences accompanying comprehension are encoded in memory along with text meaning and have implications for theories of source monitoring.
Memory in posttraumatic stress disorder: properties of voluntary and involuntary, traumatic and nontraumatic autobiographical memories in people with and without posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms.
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0086, USA. email@example.com
One hundred fifteen undergraduates rated 15 word-cued memories and their 3 most negatively stressful, 3 most positive, and 7 most important events and completed tests of personality and depression. Eighty-nine also recorded involuntary memories online for 1 week. In the first 3-way comparisons needed to test existing theories, comparisons were made of memories of stressful events versus control events and involuntary versus voluntary memories in people high versus low in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity. For all participants, stressful memories had more emotional intensity, more frequent voluntary and involuntary retrieval, but not more fragmentation. For all memories, participants with greater PTSD symptom severity showed the same differences. Involuntary memories had more emotional intensity and less centrality to the life story than voluntary memories. Meeting the diagnostic criteria for traumatic events had no effect, but the emotional responses to events did. In 533 undergraduates, correlations among measures were replicated and the Negative Intensity factor of the Affect Intensity Measure correlated with PTSD symptom severity. No special trauma mechanisms were needed to account for the results, which are summarized by the autobiographical memory theory of PTSD.
Department of Psychology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Two experiments demonstrated striking, reversible forgetting effects that occurred even for a list of expletives. The experiments used a procedure based on the classic memory mechanisms of interference and retrieval cuing. Interference reduced recall dramatically, although appropriate cues triggered complete recovery. Distinctive, emotionally charged materials were quite susceptible to the forgetting and recovery effects. Thus, powerful forgetting effects can be obtained when participants have no intentions to forget and the materials involved are distinctive, emotional materials with sexual and violent content. This forgetting is reversible with appropriate cues. The false-memory debate can and must be informed by experimental investigations not only of false memories, but also of blocked and recovered memories.
Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, Denmark Hill, London, UK. email@example.com
The main aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between a history of having made a false confession and reported parental rearing practices. It was hypothesized that the reporting of rejection and absence of warmth by parents would be associated with the making of a false confession. The participants were 804 college students in Iceland. Each was asked about false confessions made to teachers and parents in the past, as well as about false confessions made to the police during questioning. The participants completed questionnaires relating to perceived parental rearing practices (EMBU), proneness to antisocial behavior (the Gough Socialization Scale), personality (EPQ), self-esteem (Rosenberg), and compliance (GCS). Only eight participants (1% of those interrogated) claimed to have made false confessions to the police, whereas 10% claimed to have made false confessions to teachers or parents. False confessions were significantly associated with proneness to antisocial behavior and the EMBU Rejection and Warmth scales for both fathers and mothers.