Dissociative Amnesia Psychology

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Sigmund Freud, perhaps the most famous psychologist in the history of the field, introduced an idea in the late nineteenth century that continues to be contentiously debated: memory repression. A repressed, or recovered memory, can be defined as one which is suppressed, making it inaccessible to the conscious mind, and must be recovered by therapeutic techniques. Since Freud’s time, of course, there have been many more technically advanced analyses of memory and their repression, and these studies have introduced the idea of false memories, which are memories of experiences that occurred much differently than the individual recalls or did not even occur at all. Comparing studies performed by cognitive researchers on recovered memories and false…show more content…
However, it differs from the idea of recovered memories in that dissociative amnesia is a diagnosable psychological disorder that causes patients to forget entire periods of time rather than specific events. Some contrast the two phenomena by describing repression as a “horizontal split in the memory system,” while dissociative amnesia is a “vertical split” (Leong, Waits, & Diebold, 2006). But is there any definitive evidence from cognitive neuroscience research that specifically suggest the existence of a horizontal split in memory? The proponents of recovered memory claim that patients repress memories of particularly traumatic experiences as a sort of coping mechanism, including those who have experienced childhood traumas or sexual abuse. The memory will remain inaccessible to the individual until it is triggered by some phenomenon, typically by a psychotherapist, and the patient’s memory will be…show more content…
In the experiment, both the control and the experimental group were shown videos of combat scenes and later asked to recall specific details of what happened. Significantly, they found that those subjects with PTSD formed specifically visual false memories at a much higher rate than the control group (Moradi et al, 2015). If these patients’ minds are more susceptible to the creation of false memories, then this creates a problem in which the illusion of recovered memories can persist given that those with PTSD might seek out therapies that involve methods to recover memories of

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