Amnesic defense

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionaryAcademic


Offenders, especially those who have committed violent crimes, often claim memory loss for their criminal acts. Various explanations for this type of amnesia have been proposed. One explanation is that, due to excessive alcohol consumption, drug use, or a medical condition at the time of the offense, individuals are unable to store information into memory. A second explanation holds that, due to a mismatch in mood during and after the offense, offenders are unable to retrieve details of their crime. A third explanation contends that a substantial portion of individuals claiming memory loss for their crime are feigning their amnesia in order to obstruct police investigation and/or reduce responsibility for their acts. Tools and strategies to evaluate the authenticity of crime-related amnesia are addressed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Encyclopedia of Clinical Psychology
EditorsRobin Cautin, Scott Lilienfeld
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons Inc.
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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