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Lecture 21 – Psyco 350, B1 Winter, 2011. N. R. Brown. Outline. Recovered Memory Controversy Two Approaches Implanting False Memories Forgetting CSA A Third Approach Memory Issues in PTSD Background. The Recovered Memory Controversy. The Recovered Memory Controversy.

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lecture 21 psyco 350 b1 winter 2011

Lecture 21 – Psyco 350, B1Winter, 2011

N. R. Brown

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 1

outline
Outline
  • Recovered Memory Controversy
    • Two Approaches
    • Implanting False Memories
    • Forgetting CSA
    • A Third Approach
  • Memory Issues in PTSD
    • Background

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 2

the recovered memory controversy
The Recovered Memory Controversy

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 3

the recovered memory controversy1
The Recovered Memory Controversy
  • Background: The False Memory Hypothesis
  • Implanting False Memory
  • Forgetting CSA
  • The “Middle Ground” Position

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 4

the recovered memory controversy2
The Recovered Memory Controversy

Background:

Adults report “recovering” forgotten memories of childhood sexual abuse (CSA).

Memories often recovered during therapy.

Profound emotional & legal repercussions

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 5

the recovered memory controversy3
The Recovered Memory Controversy

Assumptions – The Recovered (“true”) Memory Position:

traumatic memories can be repressed/suppressed

recovery techniques produce valid memories of real events.

recovering forgotten CSA memories has therapeutic value.

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 6

question assumptions
Question Assumptions

Do/can people repress/suppress memories of CSA?

Can recovery techniques produce false memories?

Does memory recovering CSA memories have therapeutic value?

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 7

theoretical response
Theoretical Response

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 8

lindsay read 1994
Lindsay & Read (1994)

Memory is fallible & subject to distortion.

Relevant Phenomena:

Misinformation Effect – blend facts & suggestion

Source Amnesia – forget source of information

Imperfect Reality Monitoring – mistaking imagined events for real ones

Reconstruction – past events reconstructed from fragmentary details and schematic knowledge.

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 9

clinical practice circa 1990
Clinical Practice (circa, 1990)

When CSA suspected, recovery techniques employed (over sessions)

Techniques:

guided imagery

hypnosis

dream interpretation

survivors’ groups

uncritical acceptance of claims

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 10

false memories of csa
False Memories of CSA

“Memory recovery techniques may lead some clients to create illusory memories.”

-- Lindsay & Read

Imagined and/or suggested events can take on a realistic vividness and detail w/ extensive memory work.

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 11

the false memory hypothesis
The False-Memory Hypothesis

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 12

false memories of csa1
False Memories of CSA

Step 1 – create CSA story

Step 2 – elaborate on CSA story

(suggestion, imagery, interpretation, hypnosis, social facilitation)

Step 3 – forget or mistake origin of CSA story

(source amnesia, failed reality monitoring).

Implication:

It should be possible to create FM in the lab.

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 13

implanting false memories
Implanting False Memories

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 14

implanting fms w narrative hyman et al 1995
Implanting FMs /w Narrative Hyman et al. (1995)

Issue: Can FMs be implanted using clinical techniques?

Method:

Preparation: Solicit event descriptions from parents

Materials:

3 “real” event descriptions

1 “false” event description (spill punch bowl at wedding)

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 15

hyman et al 1995 procedure
Hyman et al. (1995): Procedure

Phase 1:

Recall as much as possible about each event & continue to reflect outside of lab.

2-day delay

Phase 2 – repeat procedure

Phase 3 – repeat procedure

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 16

hyman et al 1995 results
Hyman et al. (1995): Results

true memories increase across phases

false memories increase across phases

Phase 2 FM = 25%

Accessing background knowledge predicts FM

FMS for 11 or 30 Ss who accessed BK

FM for 2 of 21 Ss who did not access

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 17

hyman et al 1995 sample fm
Hyman et al (1995): Sample FM

Background Knowledge

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 18

hyman et al 1995 sample fm1
Hyman et al (1995): Sample FM

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 19

hyman et al 1995 results1
Hyman et al. (1995): Results

Accessing background knowledge predicts FM

FMs for 11 or 30 Ss who accessed BK

FMs for 2 of 21 Ss who did not access BK

Interpretation:

suggestion + BK + source confusion FM

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 20

creating fms w photos wade garry read lindsay 2002
Creating FMs w/ Photos:Wade, Garry, Read, Lindsay (2002)

Method:

3 “real” childhood photos

1 doctored childhood photo

Task:

recall as much as possible

three phases  1 week apart

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 21

creating fms w photos wade garry read lindsay 20021
Creating FMs w/ Photos:Wade, Garry, Read, Lindsay (2002)

Results for False Photos:

1st Interview: 30% FMs

3nd interview: 50% FM

Conclusion:

Photos compiling for support of generating false event and accept false memory.

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 22

implanted false memories
Implanted False Memories

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 23

three stages required to implant fms hyman loftus 1998
Three Stages Required to Implant FMsHyman & Loftus (1998)

Plausibility Assessment/acceptance

source (family, experts)

content (likelihood, consequentiality)

Memory Construction (creation of a plausible imagined event)

Actively relate proposed event to self-knowledge

Imagery, journaling, dream interpretation

Source Monitoring Error.

Situational/social demands

Delay

Repetition

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 24

implanting fms
Implanting FMs

FM research:

demonstrates FMs can be implanted

refines techniques for creating FMs

Ethical Question:

Is it time for a moratorium on this type of work?

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 25

forgetting csa
Forgetting CSA

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 26

a prospective study williams 1994
A Prospective Study: Williams (1994)

Participants:

129 women contacted 17 yrs after reported sexual abuse

Age at report:

10 months to 12 years

Task:

3 hr interview – questions about

sexual history.

NOTE: “Index” event not specifically probed

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 27

williams 1994 results
Williams (1994): Results

38%failed report index event

suggest repression-based forgetting of CSA very common.

Victim-perpetrator relation affected recall

by-stranger (82%) > by-relative (53%)

recall  as degree of force 

Younger victims less likely to recall event

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 28

slide29

All respondents

129 – 100%

remembered

80 – 62%

not remembered

49 – 38%

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 29

williams 1994 decomposing the non responses
Williams (1994): Decomposing the Non-responses

38% failed to report index event.

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 30

slide31

All respondents

129 – 100%

remembered

80 – 62%

not remembered

49 – 38%

other abuse

33 – 26%

no other abuse

16 – 12%

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 31

williams 1994 decomposing the non responses1
Williams (1994): Decomposing the Non-responses

38% failed to report index event.

But:

68% (33/49) of non-responders report other abuse.

Non-repression based explanations

schematization

retrieval (motivational) failure

coding mismatch

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 32

slide33

All respondents

129 – 100%

remembered

80 – 62%

not remembered

49 – 38%

other abuse

33 – 26%

no other abuse

16 – 12%

under 3 yrs

5 – 4%

3 or older

11 – 8.5%

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 33

williams 1994 decomposing the non responses2
Williams (1994): Decomposing the Non-responses

Thus, “Pure” failure to report CSA relatively uncommon (8.5%):

“failure to report” may reflect:

willingness to disclose

forgetting

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 34

prospective study replication
Prospective Study – Replication

Goodman et al (2003)

n = 168; failure to report = 10%

Alexander et al (2005)

Memory for CSA  w/ severity of trauma

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 35

main points
Main Points

FMs can be implanted.

CSA can be forgotten, but generally is not.

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 36

a third perspective
A Third Perspective

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 37

three views
Three Views
  • Repressed Memory View
    • Traumatic Dissociative Amnesia underlies ALL recovered memories.
  • False Memory View
    • ALL recovered memories are implanted
  • Middle Ground (Schooler, McNally, Geraerts)
    • CSA events can be forgotten and later recalled
    • Repression/dissociative processes not required/involved

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 38

middle ground
Middle Ground

Three States re: CSA memory

1. Continuous Memory

  • Discontinues Memories

2. Spontaneous recovery

3. During-therapy recovery

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 39

middle ground evidence
Middle Ground: Evidence
  • Corroborated case studies exist (Schooler)
  • Between-group corroboration rates (Geraerts et al, 2007)

45% -- continuous group (n=71)

37% -- spontaneous group (n=41)

0% -- recall-in-therapy group (n=16)

  • Rated-surprise:

spontaneous >> recalled-in-therapy

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 40

characteristics of spontaneous recovery mcnally 2007
Characteristics of Spontaneous Recovery(McNally, 2007)

Modal nature of recovered abuse event

  • Victim’s age: 7 or 8
  • Non-violent molestation
  • Perpetrator: close relative
  • (Recalled) initial reaction
    • “confused and upset, but not terrified”
    • “not fully understood… as sexual abuse.”

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 41

normal spontaneous recovery of csa
“Normal” Spontaneous Recovery of CSA
  • T1
    • CSA little understood/discussed.
  • CSA “forgotten” like other past events
  • T2
    • Context-cued recovery of CSA event
    • CSA understood as abuse, leading to...
    • “intense emotional distress”

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 42

the logic of repression
The Logic of Repression

Assumptions:

  • CSA is always traumatic
  • Normally, traumatic events are NOT forgotten
  • CSA events sometimes forgotten

Therefore:

  • Forgetting can’t be “normal”
  • So a special forgetting process must evoked by CSA

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 43

the logic of middle ground
The Logic of “Middle Ground”

Assumptions:

  • CSA is NOT always traumatic
  • Memory for non-traumatic events is normally discontinuous.
  • CSA events sometimes forgotten

Therefore:

  • Forgetting can be “normal”
  • So a special forgetting process need NOT be evoked by CSA events

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 44

summary a cognitive perspective on recovered memories
Summary: A Cognitive Perspective on Recovered Memories

Traumatic events are well remembered.

Continuous memory for CSA is normal.

CSA can be forgotten & recovered.

Repression/dissociation not required.

Spontaneous CSA memories more credible than recalled-in-therapy memories.

Because, memory recovery techniques can produce false memories.

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 45

post traumatic stress disorder background
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder:Background

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 46

dsm iv criterion a
DSM-IV Criterion A

The person has been exposed to a traumatic event in which both of the following have been present: 

(1 – The Event) The person experienced, witnessed, or was confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others

(2 – Peritraumatic Reaction) the person's response involved intense fear, helplessness, or horror.

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 47

dsm iv criteria b f
DSM-IV Criteria B-F

B. reexperiencing of the traumatic event

C. avoidance of stimuli associated w/ trauma and numbing of general responsiveness

D. increased arousal

symptoms present for more than 1 month

clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 48

prevalence
Prevalence

Traumatic events “common”

In US, experienced by 50%-60% of population

PTSD symptoms in ≈ 10% of population

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 49

risk factors
Risk Factors

Previous Traumatic Experiences

History of Abuse

Family History of PTSD or Depression

History of Substance Abuse

Poor Coping Skills

Lack of Social Support

Ongoing Stress

Sex

Neuroticism

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 50

comorbidity
Comorbidity

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 51

Slide 51

the dose response model
The Dose-Response Model
  • D-R Model predicts: PTSD w/ severity of trauma.
  • “The relationship between dosage of trauma and resultant psychopathology is far from straight forward.” – McNally, 2003, p, 223
  • Possible reasons:
    • Nonlinear relation
    • Problems w/ retrospective self-report (distorted/biased estimates of dosage).

Psyco 350 Lec #21 – Slide 52

estimation theory meets ptsd
Estimation Theory Meets PTSD
  • Estimation bias & strategy related
  • We know:
    • memory contents restrict strategy selection
  • If mental state affects strategy selection, then dose estimates may be systematically biased.

Psyco 350 Lec #21– Slide 53