False Memory History

1000 Words 4 Pages
Introduction There is a schism in the public opinion on the topic of memory, and there seems to be no clear consensus on, just how the human memory works. Not only there not widely spread misconception on how memory works in the public, but this misconception in the way memory functions has spread to our highest levels of law and justice too. There was a time that even the field of psychology was confused and divided by this issue. So, if psychology is what everybody looks to in for the answer these kind of controversial topics, and even psychology is confused. Who do you turn to, well you turn to psychology. It was in the early 1990’s that a series of very determined researchers in the field of psychology set out to clear up the myth of …show more content…
There are many, many bizarre stories that have sprouted up through the ages that have garnered the public’s attention on this topic. Some of the earliest predecessors of false memory implantation are religious in nature. Now most of the information presented on early incidence of inducing false memory are completely speculative, but it would be impossible to extrapolate anything from early stories, but speculation. For example, in 1775 a man by the name of, Johann Gassner was treating a girl that was suspected of being possessed by a demon. According to fragmented reports, Mr. Gassener was reported as using a technique that induced false perception/memories. This trans-inducing technique is frightfully close to what is considered as hypnosis in the modern era (Berrios, 2000). Another historically significant example of the implantation of false memories/perception is, in 1943 a Scottish surgeon named James Braid’s attempted to induce perceptual distortion in his patients. The aim of this experiment was to try to minimize the use of general anesthetics during surgery, by using a form of hypnosis to reduce surgical pain (Demarquay, …show more content…
This case along with being one of the first clinical examples of its kind is a shining example of false memories. After Anna O described her problems with Sigmund Freud in therapy he diagnosed her with having, “latent infantile sexuality”. Sigmund Freud took the memories that Anna O reported to him as actual repressed memories of real events and that he was recovering these memories in Anna O for the first time. This is described as a shining example of false memories because, it is the predecessor to the false/recovered memory outbreak if the 80’s and early 90’s, which is so widely known to the field of psychology to this day (Mendez, 2011).
None of these previous cases/stories have been scientifically disproven, although after the recovered memory outbreak, these cases/stories have all the classic signs of being less than true to how they are reported. Admittedly though, these stories are very entertaining to

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