Hypnosis And Memory Essay

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It is a widely-known popular believe that hypnosis can unlock repressed or hidden memories. With so many television shows and movies suggesting that the use of hypnosis may help a witness to remember the face of a criminal or the exact details of an event, it is no surprise that hypnosis has taken root as a credible method of memory retrieval. As an article from the American Psychological Association states, “… people may believe hypnotically induced memories are more reliable, mirroring a mistaken cultural belief that hypnosis acts like a truth serum. Hypnosis is "on thin ice" when used to recover memories, as is the case with most other memory retrieval techniques” (Smith). In order to more fully understand this myth, it is important to consider which demographics believe in it and what exactly they believe. 70% of introductory psychology students (92 surveyed) believed that hypnosis would be useful in helping witnesses to recall details of crimes (Lilienfeld et al. 70). Approximately 90% of college students say that hypnosis helps with memory retrieval (Lilienfeld et al. 70). 84% of psychologists believe that memories are stored in the mind…show more content…
“… some therapists convinced patients they had been molested or abused as children because of hypnotically induced memories, which often had no evidence to support them. As a result, many innocent people were wrongly accused of abuse in hundreds of court cases” (Smith). Memories can be highly suggestable, so the use of hypnosis with memory is never going to be an exact science. If, for example, one is under hypnosis and is asked a leading question about a memory, fictional or not, their memories may become altered to fit the scenario described. People are often unsettlingly confident in these hypnotically-induced memories (Lilienfeld et al. 73), which can lead to incorrect testimony or

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