Memory Vs Memory

886 Words4 Pages
Introduction
Recent research has shown that memory is not a passive system of automatic recording of all experiences, but a flexible function whose storage capacity is limited. Studies of the American cognitive psychologist Elisabeth Loftus in the 1990s, has shown that memories are sensitive to beliefs, expectations and suggestion, and that people can ‘‘remember” information they have not experienced, which is called false memories (Loftus & Ketcham,
2012). For more than 20 years, most of the research has focused on their dramatic consequences, particularly in the context of recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse in therapy, which have destroyed many victims and their families (Brédart, 2012). However, positive consequences of false memories
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Thus, someone who has behaved inappropriately against he thinks of himself (e.g. "for no apparent reason, I had an aggressive behaviour towards a stranger in the subway"), could change his memory to make his actions coherent (e.g. "this person had pushed me to get out of the train"). While the
Running head: WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MEMORY AND IDENTITY?
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adaptive function of this mechanism is questionable from a social point of view, it is effective in preserving the integrity of an individual and his self-esteem.
These observations make it possible to understand fitness of false memories of sexual abuse created in therapy in the 1990s. A study conducted by Rubis and Bernsten (2007; as cited in Brédart, 2012) has shown that people who are receiving individual therapy are most likely to believe that they were sexually abused in childhood. According to the authors, those people has constructed false memories because they provide a reason, a justification for their current psychological distress.
Research has shown that false memories, changing or upsetting personal history, may preserve a person by making his behaviour consistent with his identity. But since an
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They showed that children who had developed the false memory that this
Running head: WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MEMORY AND IDENTITY?
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operation was not painful were less stressed during a subsequent lumbar puncture, relative to the control group. One week later, they were also more likely to remember the lumbar puncture as more negative. If a patient "remembers" with a false memory that he can tolerate a certain amount of pain, it can prevent him from suffering or having to take a medication for stress.
Conclusion
The present essay aimed to analyse how false memories can positively affect identity.
This can be done by understanding that their first function is to preserve individual identity. In addition, scientists are starting to exploit their specificity by influencing what people believe about themselves.
Because of the disasters they can cause, it was important to understand that our memories are not always reliable. But it becomes clear that false memories have resources that were previously unknown. It remains to be determined whether certain ethical considerations will not hinder the progress they could make in behavioural terms, and whether it will be legally possible for a psychotherapist to suggest false memories to
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