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Friday, 22 July 2011

Memory – Not as Good as We Think

One of the more controversial topics within cognitive psychology is whether or not there are repressed memories and if so, can they accurately be recovered. In order to understand how memories might become repressed, we need to first understand the memory system.
Memory includes both learning and then some sort of recollection. We have to store information first in order to pull it back out of storage later for use. Thus, the process of memory can be affected at either of these two stages — learning or recall. If information is never learned and therefore stored, it can never be remembered. However, if information was learned but something affects the process of retrieving it from storage, then it is possible that with additional help that information could be recalled. This is the basic idea underlying repressed memories. Something was learned and put into storage but a person is not able to retrieve the memories because something is blocking them. Therefore, from what we know of the memory system, repressed memories are technically feasible.

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