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'Repressed memory' is a myth: Australian researcher

September 09, 2010

An Australian researcher argues that “repressed memory” is a myth.

Grant Devilly of Griffith University says that someone who has experienced a trauma is highly unlikely to forget the experience. “It’s the opposite,” he says. Trauma victims are likely to relive the event frequently in their imaginations. “They wish they couldn't think about it," he says.

The theory of repressed memory has been a factor in many sex-abuse complaints, with plaintiffs testifying that they had only recently recalled being molested.


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  • Posted by: stpetric - Sep. 10, 2010 3:18 PM ET USA

    We had a previous episode of "repressed memory" mania with the "satanic ritual abuse" trials of the late 80's and early 90's. A number of day care workers and family members were actually imprisoned despite the lack of physical evidence and the ludicrous "recovered memories." In fact, as the Australian research shows, trauma survivors generally remember -- often in great detail -- what happened to them.