Repressed and Recovered Memory

Repressed and Recovered Memory


Instructor’s name:

Course title:


Repressed and Recovered Memory

Repressed memories are unconsciously blocked as a result of the mind being subjected to high levels of trauma. Although an individual with repressed memory cannot remember, it still affects him/her consciously, and the repressed memory can emerge at a later date into the conscious. On the other hand, false memories are psychological phenomena where individuals recall occurrences that are imaginary. The notion that stressed memories are repressed is common in literature despite there being little empirical evidence to support the assumed occurrence of memory repression. Hence they should not be used in court to prosecute the alleged abuser.

The idea that memories are lost involuntarily to consciousness and then accurately recovered at a later date is a hypothesis yet to be proven. The belief that memory can be repressed and recovered has been propelled significantly by culture, for example, self-help articles and media about repression. According to research published by Professor Harrison Pope (2007), culture greatly influenced the idea of memory repression. In his research, he found no evidence of memory repression before 1800 AD. If it was a physiological phenomenon, there must be references to the repression in ancient literature and culture as there are references for various diseases.

Human memory is undergoing constant reconstruction and adjustment; it’s malleable as it can be changed by external factors. It can be altered during retelling, passage of time, or by present expectation. The mind can suddenly recall a forgotten experience, perhaps while looking at photos, or meeting with old acquaintances. This is an example of a normal memory process. Memories cannot be scientifically proven that, if repressed, they would function in a particular manner such that they can be kept and then recalled later in original form. Recovered memories are susceptible to external influences that alter reconstruction of images that an individual interprets as memory.


Pope, H. G. (2007). Scientific status of research on repressed memories. In D.L. Faigman, D.H. Kaye, M.J. Saks & J. Sanders (Eds.). Modern Scientific Evidence.

Place an Order

Plagiarism Free!

Scroll to Top