Changing beliefs in repressed memory and dissociative amnesia

Henry Otgaar, Ivan Mangiulli, Paul Riesthuis, Olivier Dodier, Lawrence Patihis

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Abstract

In three studies, we examined whether beliefs in repressed memory and dissociative amnesia could be changed. Participants provided agreement ratings to statements related to repressed memory and dissociative amnesia. Then, they received a university course which included education on the science of memory. Following this, participants had to re-rate the statements. In Study 3, at Times 1 and 2, participants also received a case vignette on a therapy-induced recovered memory and rated several statements related to this case. Participants who received education on the science of memory were less likely to agree with statements endorsing repressed memory and dissociative amnesia—and participants were more likely to state that the case vignette involved a false memory. Providing education on the science of memory can help people (e.g., legal professionals, people from the general population) to use critical thinking on the topic of repressed memory and dissociative amnesia.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Early online date25 Oct 2022
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online - 25 Oct 2022

Keywords

  • dissociative amnesia
  • memory wars
  • repressed memory
  • trauma

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