Lack of precision, misleading implications, and ethical issues arising from the use of the label "false memory" for errors in word memory

Show full item record

Title: Lack of precision, misleading implications, and ethical issues arising from the use of the label "false memory" for errors in word memory
Author: DePrince, Anne P.; Allard, Carolyn B. (Carolyn Brigitte), 1968-; Oh, Hannah; Freyd, Jennifer J.
Abstract: Since 1995, psychologists have increasingly used the term "false memory" to describe memory errors for details (e.g., errors for words learned in a list); such errors in details were once referred to by other terms, such as "intrusions". "False memories" is also used to refer to suggestibility experiments in which whole events are apparently confabulated and in media accounts of contested memories of childhood abuse. We examined use of the term "false memory/ies" to describe 1.) suggestibility for, or confabulation of, entire events or 2.) errors in details. Using the keyword "false memory/ies", journal articles published between 1992 and August 2003 were identified. Editorials, commentaries, responses to other articles, and book reviews were excluded. Of the 397 articles collected, 222 (55.9%) were empirical reports. Approximately 70% of empirical articles used the term "false memory/ies" to refer to error in details. The shift in language away from prior terms such as "memory intrusions" to a new use of the term "false memory" presents serious ethical challenges to the data-interpretation process by encouraging over-generalization and misapplication of research findings on word memory to social issues. The research and ethical implications of the new use of the term will be discussed.
Description: This information will be reported in DePrince, A.P., Allard, C., Oh, H., & Freyd, J.J. (in press). What’s in a name for memory errors? Implications and ethical issues arising from the use of the label “false memory” for errors in memory for details. Ethics & Behavior.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/4331
Date: 2004-11


Files in this item

Files Size Format View
daofISTSS04.pdf 52.02Kb PDF View/Open

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show full item record