Source: The American Psychological Association (APA)
About the Source: The APA is the world’s leading professional
organization for psychologists with over 150,000 members. Its
mission is multi-faceted and extensive, supporting work in the
areas of science, practice, education, and public policy. It
has established the standards of ethics, conduct, and education
for the profession.
URL Content: This document provides an excellent summation
of the controversy surrounding the phenomenon of recovered memories.
Entitled Questions and Answers about Memories of Childhood
Abuse, the article specifically addresses the recovery of
memories of sexual molestation in childhood thought to have
been repressed. Released at the direction of the APA Board of
Directors and reflective of a variety of reports and documents,
the summation is in part the product of an APA Working Group
specifically charged with the investigation of memories of childhood
abuse. Topic headings covered in the summation include: Can
a memory be forgotten and then remembered? Can a ‘memory’ be
suggested and then remembered as true? What’s the Bottom Line?
What Further Research Is Needed? If there is so much controversy
about childhood memories of abuse, should I still seek help
from a mental heath provider if I believer I have such a memory?
What should I know about choosing a psychotherapist to help
me deal with a childhood memory or any other issue? How can
I expect a competent psychotherapist to react to a recovered
memory? What credentials should I look for when selecting a
mental health provider? This Public Affairs section document
purports to link to a brochure entitled, How to Choose a
Psychologist, but the link doesn’t work and the brochure
apparently is no longer available at the APA site. Many other
resources on a variety of other topics are, however, available
at the public affairs home page entitled Psychology in Daily
Home Website: The APA site (http://www.apa.org)
is a multi-purpose site serving both its members (with information
germane exclusively to them), as well as the general public.
It is a gold mine of psychological information. Home page buttons
provide access to APA member, institutional, and public publications.
Also featured are QuickLinks for important information for members,
psychologists, students, and the media. The News section links
to, among other items, the Monitor on Psychology, a well-known
APA monthly publication with articles on a variety of issues.
The Psychology Topics block on the home page leads to a variety
of resources on each of the topics featured including Monitor
and PsycPort.com articles, journal articles, press releases,
books, brochures, and outside resources. For a taste of psychology
applied to daily living, The Consumer Help Center can’t be beat.
Links/Resources: Each of the featured Psychology Topics
links to several external websites ripe with more information.
Links to other relevant sites (such as state and provincial
psychological associations) are embedded throughout the APA
website. APA produces a cornucopia of resources with descriptions
accessible through the publications buttons on the home page.
Contact Information: Consult the Contact
Us section for a long list of specific contacts contingent on
the nature of the information desired.
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
Source: Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D.
About the Source: Dr. Loftus is generally regarded as
one of the foremost researchers of human memory in the world.
Currently Dr. Loftus holds the title of Distinguished Professor
at the University of California, Irvine, in the Departments
of Psychology & Social Behavior; Criminology, Law &
Society; and Cognitive Sciences, as well as being a Fellow at
the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning & Memory. She
continues on as well as Affiliate Professor of the Psychology
Department and School of Law at the University of Washington
where she taught for almost 30 years. Her online vitae is 32
pages long and speaks to her many endeavors focusing on memory
research which won her a lifetime achievement award from both
the American Psychological Association (APA), as well as the
American Psychological Society (APS).
URL Content: The article at this site, The Reality
of Repressed Memories, was published in the APA journal,
American Psychologist, in 1993. Loftus begins her article with
the case of Eileen Franklin, whose father, George, was prosecuted
for the murder of Eileen’s childhood friend based on a memory
for the event that Eileen said she recovered 20 years later.
Loftus goes on to cite other instances of recovered repressed
memories recounted from popular magazines and newspapers, from
letters she has received, and from other legal cases, then she
begins to answer a series of questions about repressed memories
based on research findings. These queries include: How common
are claims of repressed memory? How do people in general and
jurors in particular react to claims of recently unburied repressed
memories? What are the memories like? How authentic are they?
Home Website: This article is one of several available
at Loftus’s faculty site (http://www.seweb.uci.edu/faculty/loftus/).
This article was a precursor to her book, The Myth of Repressed
Memory, published the following year. At the site, several
other selected publications are available and categorized by
date: since 2000, from 1990-1999, and before 1900. A brief summary
of Loftus’s research interests and her online vitae are also
Links/Resources: The primary link on this faculty page
is to Loftus’s University of Washington webpage (http://faculty.washington.edu/eloftus/),
which has more articles. There are also links to a few articles
written about her work.
Dr. Elizabeth Loftus
2393 Social Ecology II
University of Calif. Irvine, CA 92679
Source: False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF)
About the Source: The FMSF was founded in 1992 as a
result of a case in which an adult daughter claimed to recover
a memory of incest in therapy and subsequently cut off all relations
with her family. This phenomenon in some form had been repeated
in countless families and led to the germination of the FMSF,
a non-profit organization focusing on memory and therapy practice
issues. The Professional and Advisory Board of the Foundation
is comprised of a highly respected group of clinicians and researchers
representing the fields of psychology, psychiatry, social work,
law, and education.
URL Content: This Frequently Asked Questions
section lists information about 30 topics. A few of the topics
focus on the FMSF itself (what it is, how it got started, how
it is financed); the remainder address a host of issues related
to false memory syndrome (FMS). First and foremost is what false
memory syndrome is. The syndrome is defined as a " condition
in which a person’s identity and interpersonal relationship
are centered around a memory of traumatic experience which is
objectively false but in which the person strongly believes."
The person recovers this memory during therapy, hence the connection
of this foundation to the topic of repressed memory. Many of
the topics covered address the kinds of memories recovered and
most importantly the issue of accuracy of these memories.
Home Website: The FMSF home page (http://www.fmsfonline.org/)
has links to information dealing with different aspects of the
syndrome. Hyperlinks are provided to citations and/or papers
exploring the connections between the syndrome and both hypnosis
and multiple personality disorder. Additional links are provided
to Legal Interests and to the Houston Trial in particular involving
therapists accused of planting false memories in their clients.
A wide variety of resources are provided under Therapy Topics
including a section entitled: What Have Professional Organizations
Said About Recovered Memories. The Focus on Science hyperlink
connects to, among other items, papers by well-known memory
researcher Harrison Pope, Jr., of Harvard Medical School. The
Retractors Stories/Studies link provides a poignant look at
how FMS has impacted individuals who feel they were suffering
from it. FMSF has a newsletter and current and archived editions
are available at the site.
Links/Resources: A separate Links or Resources hyperlink
is not provided. Instead links to other websites and resources
are embedded throughout the website.
False Memory Syndrome Foundation
1955 Locus Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-5766