En 'falsk erindring' er en 'hukommelsesillusion', en erindring om en begivenhed, der ikke har fundet sted eller er en forvrængning af en faktisk oplevelse. Falske erindringer kan virke meget levende, præcis ligesom normale erindringer, og er nemme at inducere. Ofte vil forsøgspersoner i psykologiske forsøg, i hvem en falsk erindring med vilje er blevet induceret, nægte at tro, at mindet er falsk, og vil have lige så stor tillid til dette, som til nøjagtige rigtige minder.

Falske erindringer kan skabes på forskellige måder, og den præcise mekanisme er kontroversiel. Forskningsresultater indikerer at nogle af disse erindringer formes ved repetition af en begivenhed, som personen ikke er sikker på er sket: efter at have tænkt over og visualiseret den gentagne gange, kan personen begynde at huske den, som om den faktisk er har fundet sted. Når personen bedes om at genkalde begivenheden, vil hun gøre dette overbevist om ægtheden, men det er blot de tidligere visualiseringer, der gør erindringen bekendt.

Falsk erindrings syndrom

Falsk erindrings syndrom (False-memory syndrome, FMS) er en sindstilstand hvor man har en stor mængde meget levende falske erindringer, ofte om misbrug i barndommen. FMS findes ikke i ICD-10 eller DSM-IV. Denne tilstand kan f.eks. skyldes såkaldte recovered memories, hvor en psykolog eller terapeut fremmaner tilsynaldende ægte erindringer om misbrug.

Dette har været et vigtigt emne i mange efterforskninger, heriblandt sager om påstået seksuelt misbrug og satanisk rituelt misbrug. Selvom de anerkender, at ikke alt misbrug kan bevises ved ekstern evidens (beviser), mener fortalere for denne teori, at det er muligt for en person at fremstille falske erindringer, ofte som et resultat af andre stressfaktorer i deres liv såsom vrede eller ydre pres.

Forskningen i denne del af psykologien støttes af akademikere, såsom Elizabeth Loftus [http://faculty.washington.edu/eloftus/], og grupper som False Memory Syndrome Foundation [http://www.fmsfonline.org].

Og en gruppe bestående af næsten alle psykologerne fra Aarhus Universitet udtalte i oktober 2002:

  • Det er muligt at inducere falske erindringer hos såvel børn som voksne.
  • Der findes ingen sikre måder at skelne falske fra autentiske erindringer.
  • Der findes ikke noget distinkt symptombillede, der knytter sig til seksuelt misbrug, og som kan bruges til at diagnosticere dette.

Desuden udtalte gruppen kritik af de praktiserende psykologer, der ikke anerkender denne konsensus, men alligevel påtager sig rollen som ekspert i sager om seksuelt misbrug.

Beslægtede emner
Se også
  • Ceci, S.J., Huffman, M.L.C., Smith, E., & Loftus, E.F. (1994) Repeatedly thinking about non-events. Consciousness and Cognition, 3, 388-407.
  • Hyman, I.E., Husband, T.H., & Billings, F.J. (1995) False memories of childhood experiences. Applied Cognitive Psychology 9, 181-197.
  • Roediger, H.L. & McDermott, K.B. (1995). Creating false memories: Remembering words that were not presented in lists. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 21, 803-814.

*[http://skepdic.com/falsememory.html Skeptic's Dictionary on false memories] *[http://www.sfsmith.dk/artikler/recovered.htm Børnepsykologisk Rådgivning]

Engelske Wikipedia:

'False memory syndrome' ('FMS') is a term created Peter J. Freyd<ref>McHugh, 2008, p. 55.</ref> and popularized by the False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF) that describes an alleged condition in which a person's identity and relationships are affected by memories which are factually incorrect but are strongly believed.<ref>McHugh, 2008, p. 66-7.</ref> Members of the FMSF believe that alleged false memories are the result of recovered memory therapy, a term also defined by the FMSF in the early 1990s,<ref name=whitfield>title=Misinformation Concerning Child Sexual Abuse and Adult Survivors |last= Whitfield |first=Charles L. |coauthors=Joyanna L. Silberg, Paul Jay Fink |pages=56 |publisher=[[Haworth Press]] |year=2001 |isbn= 0789019019</ref> which describes a range of therapy methods that are prone to creating confabulations. Some of the influential figures in the genesis of the theory are forensic psychologist Ralph Underwager, psychologist Elizabeth Loftus and sociologist Richard Ofshe. FMS is not recognized scientifically.<ref> title = American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language | publisher = Houghton Mifflin | year = 2000 | location = Boston | url = http://www.bartleby.com/61/46/F0024650.html | isbn = 0-395-82517-2 | author = executive editor, Joseph P. Pickett</ref>


False memory syndrome is defined as: <blockquote>[A] condition in which a person's identity and interpersonal relationships are centered around a memory of traumatic experience which is objectively false but in which the person strongly believes. Note that the syndrome is not characterized by false memories as such. We all have memories that are inaccurate. Rather, the syndrome may be diagnosed when the memory is so deeply ingrained that it orients the individual's entire personality and lifestyle, in turn disrupting all sorts of other adaptive behavior…False Memory Syndrome is especially destructive because the person assiduously avoids confrontation with any evidence that might challenge the memory. Thus it takes on a life of its own, encapsulated and resistant to correction. The person may become so focused on memory that he or she may be effectively distracted from coping with the real problems in his or her life.<ref>McHugh, 2008, p. 67-68.</ref> <small>Emphasis in original</small></blockquote>

FMS is controversial.<ref name = Dallam>last= Dallam |first= S. |year=2002 |month= |title=Crisis or Creation: A systematic examination of false memory claims |journal=Journal of Child Sexual Abuse |volume=9 |issue=3/4 |pages=9–36|url= http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/res/dallam/6.html | pmid=17521989 |doi= 10.1300/J070v09n03_02 | accessdate = 2008-06-27</ref> It is not included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Paul R. McHugh, member of the FMSF, stated that the term was not adopted into the fourth version of the manual due to the pertinent committee being headed by believers in recovered memory.<ref>McHugh, 2008, p. 55.</ref>

Recovered memory therapy

Recovered memory therapy Recovered memory therapy is used to describe the therapeutic processes and methods that are believed to create false memories and false memory syndrome. These methods include hypnosis, sedatives and probing questions where the therapist believes repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse are the cause of their client's problems.<ref>McHugh, 2008, p. 63.</ref> The term is not listed in DSM-IV or used by any mainstream formal psychotherapy modality.<ref name=whitfield/>

FMS advocates harbor strong skepticism towards any therapist who they believe encourages a client to identify repressed memories. They argue that self-help books, such as The Courage to Heal, and recovered memory therapists can influence adults to develop false memories. According to this theory, psychologists and psychiatrists may accidentally implant these false memories.date=April 2008

Evidence for

Human memory is created and highly suggestible, and a wide variety of innocuous, embarrassing and frightening memories can be falsely created through the use of different techniques, including guided imagery, hypnosis and suggestion by others. Though not all individuals who are exposed to these techniques will develop memories, experiments suggest a significant number of people will and will actively defend the existence of the events, even if told they were false and deliberately implanted. The questions about the possibility of false memories created an explosion of interest in suggestibility of human memory and resulted in an enormous increase in the knowledge about how memories are encoded, stored and recalled, producing pioneering experiments such as the lost in the mall technique.<ref> pages = [http://books.google.com/books?id=m8qMjPF1NYAC&pg=PA123 123-30] | last = Schacter | first = DL | title = [[The Seven Sins of Memory|The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers]] | publisher = [[Houghton Mifflin Harcourt]] | year = 2002 | isbn = 0618219196 </ref>

Court cases

Sexual abuse cases

The question of the accuracy and dependability of a repressed memory that was later recalled has contributed to some investigations and court cases, including cases of alleged sexual abuse or child sexual abuse. <ref>[http://www.religioustolerance.org/rmt_reli.htm ARE RECOVERED MEMORIES RELIABLE?]</ref><ref>[http://www.muskingum.edu/~psych/psycweb/history/loftus.htm Elizabeth Loftus]</ref> Some such recollections have been supported by enough corroborating evidence to enable successful prosecution, <ref>[http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Taubman_Center/Recovmem/ The Recovered Memory Project]</ref> while others have been deemed confabulations or „false memories“ that were not legally admissible.date=January 2008

The defense in sexual abuse cases may offer their own “expert” “testimony to counter the plaintiff's scientific evidence that the mind can avoid or repress traumatic information and then recall it years later.” Murphy believes that there is „overwhelming evidence that the mind is capable of repressing traumatic memories of child sexual abuse.“<ref>last=Murphy |first=W.|title=Debunking 'false memory' myths in sexual abuse cases |url=http://www.smith-lawfirm.com/Murphy_Memory_Article.html |accessdate= 2008-01-10 </ref> Whitfield states that the “false memory” defense is “seemingly sophisticated, but mostly contrived and often erroneous.” He states that this defense has been created by “accused, convicted and self-confessed child molesters and their advocates” to try to “negate their abusive, criminal behavior.”<ref>last=Whitfield |first=C. |year=2002 |month=March |title=The "False Memory" Defense Using Disinformation and Junk Science In and Out of Court |journal=Journal of Child Sexual Abuse |volume=9 |issue=3/4 |pages=53–78 |url=http://www.haworthpress.com/store/ArticleAbstract.asp?sid=2LCRMC1PM7DN8N8PNL9M1A42WE7UFG4B&ID=7048 |accessdate= 2008-01-11 |doi= 10.1300/J070v09n03_04 </ref> Brown states that when pro-false memory expert witnesses and attorneys state there is no causal connection between CSA and adult psychopathology, that CSA doesn't cause specific trauma-related problems like borderline and dissociative identity disorder, that other variables than CSA can explain the variance of adult psychopathology and that the long-term effects of CSA are non-specific and general, that this testimony is inaccurate and has the potential of misleading juries. <ref>last=Brown |first=D. |year=2001 |title=(Mis)representation of the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse in the Courts |journal=Journal of Child Sexual Abuse |volume=9 |issue=3/4 |pages=79–107 |url=http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/custom/portlets/recordDetails/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=EJ672709&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=EJ672709 |accessdate= 2008-01-28 |doi=10.1300/J070v09n03_05 </ref>

Malpractice cases

During the late 1990s, there were multiple lawsuits in the United States in which psychiatrists and psychologists were successfully sued, or settled out of court, on the charge of propagating iatrogenic memories of childhood sexual abuse, incest and satanic ritual abuse.<ref>[http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/p991201a.html Recovered Memory Lawsuit Sparks Litigation]</ref>

Some of these suits were brought by individuals who later deemed their recovered memories of incest and/or satanic ritual abuse to be false. The False Memory Syndrome Foundation uses the term „retractors“ to describe these individuals and have shared their stories publicly.<ref> isbn = 0886670454 | chapterurl = http://www.stopbadtherapy.com/retracts/macdonald.shtml | year = 1999 | publisher = Laurentian University Press | title = Making of an Illness : My Experience with Multiple Personality Disorder | last = Macdonald | first = G | chaptertitle = Women Against Women | pages = 111 </ref> There is debate regarding the total number of retractions as compared to the total number of allegations,<ref name=„Whitfield“> last = Whitfield M.D. | first = Charles L.| title = Memory and Abuse - Remembering and Healing the Effects of Trauma | publisher = Health Communications, Inc |year=1995 | location = Deerfield Beach, FL |pages = [http://books.google.com/books?id=z1LW3u1e04YC&pg=PA83 83] | url =| isbn = 1-55874-320-0</ref> and the reasons for retractions.<ref name=„Summit“>last= Summit |first= R. |year= 1983 |month= |title= The child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome |journal= Child Abuse & Neglect |volume=7 |issue= |pages=177–193|doi= 10.1016/0145-2134(83)90070-4 </ref>

See also