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What if you went to the police and accused your uncle of abuse? Misunderstandings concerning the benefits of memory distortion: a commentary on Fernandez (2015)

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In a recent paper, Fernandez (2015) argues that memory distortion can have beneficial outcomes. Although we agree with this, we find his reasoning and examples flawed to such degree that they will lead to misunderstandings rather than clarification in the field of memory (distortion). In his paper, Fernandez uses the terms belief and memory incorrectly, creating a conceptual blur. Also, Fernandez tries to make the case that under certain circumstances, false memories of abuse are beneficial. We argue against this idea as the reasoning behind this claim is based on controversial assumptions such as repression. Although it is true that memory distortions can be beneficial, the examples sketched by Fernandez are not in line with recent documentation in this area. (C) 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • AMNESIA, Adaptive memory, Belief, CHILDREN, EVENTS, EXPERIENCES, False memory, Memory distortion, NONBELIEVED MEMORIES, Nonbelieved memories, REPRESSED MEMORY, Recollection, SCIENCE
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-290
Number of pages5
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
Publication statusPublished - May 2015