Memory & Pseudomemory
October 31, 2022
How exactly do your memories work?
- Memory is imperfect and malleable rather than reproductive (e.g. like a videotape).
- Memory is malleable whether or not enhancement procedures (e.g. hypnosis) are used.
- Traumatic memory may be encoded differently than normal memory.
- Recall of memories can improve some conditions, and the use of hypnotic techniques may or may not contribute. (The type of memory influences its recall.)
- Pseudomemories can be created under some conditions. Memory can change by changing your perception, which also affects your recall of the memory.
- If not used cautiously, hypnotic procedures can increase false confidence. Because it happened under hypnosis, people tend to believe them more.
- Highly hypnotizable individuals appear more prone to developing pseudomemories, whether or not hypnosis is used.
In general, courts will not accept recall of events influenced by hypnosis.