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Eliciting new, believed-in memories : the role played by retrieval techniques and demand factors

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Eliciting new, believed-in memories : the role played by retrieval techniques and demand factors

Kandyba, Kristina (2001) Eliciting new, believed-in memories : the role played by retrieval techniques and demand factors. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Research on memory modification and creation has suggested that not only can details of memories for events from childhood be altered, but entire and complex memories can be created. However, several questions remained unanswered. The focus of the present research was to examine the extent to which subjects will alter their opinion to reflect the belief that an event happened in childhood and the conditions under which this will happen. It examined whether motivation is by itself a sufficient factor to enable subjects to remember unknown and originally repudiated events from childhood, or whether strong demands are also necessary. A second aim was to compare three so-called memory retrieval techniques that are currently employed in therapy to retrieve memories from childhood: the first was hypnosis, the second involved relaxation and visualization (termed guided imagery ), and the third involved relaxation and concentration (termed focused thinking ). In two sessions, the second a week after the first, subjects were asked to 'remember' two events of which they claimed to have no recollection. The occurrence of the two events had also been repudiated by subjects' parents in a telephone interview. Results revealed no differences between groups: guided imagery and focused thinking were as effective as hypnosis in producing memories which led over 50% of subjects to claim that each of the two events had taken place. Further, subjects' initial motivation to determine whether they had experienced these new events was sufficient for them to produce memories and alter their original judgments; added pressure in the form of social demands from the experimenter was not necessary. Subjects' altered opinions remained unchanged despite being told that their parents had no memory for the events, and remained stable over a period of several months following the study. Implications of memory retrieval for therapeutic and legal purposes are discussed.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Kandyba, Kristina
Pagination:xiii, 358 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (Ph.D.)
Program:Dept. of Psychology
Date:2001
Thesis Supervisor(s):Laurence, Jean-Roch
ID Code:1421
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:19
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:20
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