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Old October 20 2013, 05:56 AM   #9
thestrangequark
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Re: A question for people smarter then I.

This is a subject that interests me especially, and I do have a fair amount of knowledge in this area, so here's a very broad and general take on it:

I have memories from 1 to 2 years of age as well...at least, I think I do. That's the thing with memories. Our memories are really, really terrible, no matter how accurate we think they are. They are poor reconstructions of incomplete data from inaccurate sensory input, augmented with utter fabrication and beautifully designed to make us think they are good records of reality and to promote false confidence. You can never know for sure if an unconfirmed memory is genuine, a distortion of a genuine memory, an amalgamation of more than one memory, or just made up out of whole cloth, but you can always know for sure that every single memory you have is at the very least biased and only somewhat accurate.

Repression is a very grey area in psychology. Memories can be repressed, and they can be recovered, but it is also ridiculously easy to implant false memories; and this can be done completely unwittingly (in fact, it is most often done unwittingly). Given this fact, the fact that every time you access a memory you alter it, and given my supposition that we likely repress memories for a reason (probably to protect our mental health), I personally think the plausibility and benefit of recovering memories therapeutically is debatable. I do know of case studies where this technique was used successfully, and where the recovered memories were verified not only by other witness but by police and child welfare documents. I think successful cases are far outnumbered by unsuccessful cases, though.
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