27 J. Psychiatry & L. 5 (1999)
Recovered Memories: The Current Weight of the Evidence in Science and in the Courts

handle is hein.journals/jpsych27 and id is 15 raw text is: The Journal of Psychiatry & Law 27/Spring 1999

Recovered memories: the
current weight of the evidence
in science and in the courts
BY DANIEL BROWN, PH.D., ALAN W. SCHEFLIN, J.D., M.A.,
LL.M., AND CHARLES L. WHITFIELD, M.D.
The authors critically review the main strategies that false-memory
proponents have used to challenge the admissibility of testimony
regarding recovered abuse memories in the courts: that the
laboratory evidence fails to prove the existence of repression,
that people rarely forget trauma, and that scientific studies
claiming amnesia for trauma and abuse are fraught with a variety
of methodological weaknesses. False-memory proponents who have
advanced these arguments have made serious logical errors in their
arguments and have misused the available scientific evidence. The
authors review 68 data-based studies specifically on amnesia and
later recovery of memories for childhood sexual abuse, each of
which presents evidence favoring amnesia and recovered memories
for sexual abuse in certain individuals. These studies were
conducted using a variety of methodological approaches and
progressive improvements in research design that addressed and
answered each criticism advanced by false-memory proponents.
These studies also include a number of recent studies using a
clarifying interview strategy that demonstrated that the mechanisms
operative in substantial forgetting and later recovery of abuse
memories typically include a mixture of dissociative amnesia,
AUTHORS' NOTE: The authors would like to thank Kenneth Pope, Ph.D.,
for his many useful suggestions for revising this manuscript.

© 1999 by Federal Legal Publications. Inc.

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