It is readily acknowledged by legal experts that memory is one of the most unreliable sources of information that can be obtained. It's not difficult to see how this occurs in regards to the 'holocaust'; what with conditioning and rewards/benefits derived from reciting the preferred experience.
I have posted below some examples of the unreliability of "memory", comments welcomed.
Orange County Register
Sunday, February 16, 1997
page News 27
Studies suggest false memories can be ingrained
PSYCHOLOGY: The researchers say their work shows people are susceptible to 'contamination' of memory.
By DANIEL Q. HANEY
The Associated Press
SEATTLE -- Given a few bogus details and a little prodding, about a quarter of adults can be convinced they remember childhood adventures that never happened.
The experiment is one of a series of exercises. psychologists have developed that can plant false memories in the brain. Once they take root, these thoughts often become as real as genuine ones -- indeed, perhaps even more so.
"Over time, people may forget things that did happen and remember things that didn't," said Henry L. Roediger III of Washington University in St. Louis. Roediger and other psychologists described their memory experiments Saturday at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
They say the work demonstrates the malleability and fallibility of memory, the human willingness to recall things that make sense or have happened, even if they didn't.
"All of us to some extent are susceptible to these kinds of contamination" of memory, said Elizabeth Loftus of the University of Sington in Seattle, who pioneered the field in the 1970s.
The researchers say young children, the elderly and people with short attention spans appear most likely to concoct false memories. But even college students -- who presumably spend much of their time remembering what they read and hear -- can be easily tricked into swearing they recall things that never happened.
In one experiment, Loftus asked parents to list some incidents in their adult children's pasts. Then she told the children she wanted to compare theft memories with the parents'.
She walked them through a series of real incidents and then threw in a fake one: As a young child, they had been lost in a shopping mall and were frightened and cried until an elderly person found them and reunited them with their parents.
With just a little gentle coaxing, Loftus said, about one-quarter of study subjects agree this happened to them. Some even go on to provide new details. They sometimes refuse to believe it is a fake when the experiment is over.
In another experiment, volunteers are asked to look over a list of possible childhood events', such as falling and breaking a window with their hand, and then rate on a scale of 1 to 8 their certainty of whether they happened.
Two weeks later, they are asked to spend one minute creating mental images of some of the events they said they had never experienced. Then they filled out the list again. After imagining breaking the window, 24 percent became more certain such an event had actually occurred.
Loftus has been a strong critic of psychologists who help people recover memories of supposedly suppressed traumas, such as child abuse.
Loftus contends the techniques of some therapists to bring out blocked memories are similar to the ones she used in her experiments to create fake ones.
Roediger said his work 'suggests "illusions of memory," as he calls them, happen often.
In one experiment, he asked students to look at a list of 15 words that included: "bed," "dream," "blanket," "doze," and "pillow." Just over half said afterward that the word "sleep" had been. on the list, even though it wasn't.
Los Angeles Times
Sunday, February 16, 1997
Psychologists Say Adults Can Adopt Fake Memories as Real
From Associated Press
SEATTLE.Given a few bogus details and a little prodding, about a quarter of adults can be convinced they remember childhood adventures that never happened.
The experiment is one of a series of exercises psychologists have developed that can plant false memories in the brain. Once they take root, these thoughts often become as real as genuine ones--indeed, perhaps even more so.
"Over time, people may forget things that did happen and rememher things that didn't," said Henry L. Roediger III of Washington University in St. Louis.
Roediger and other psychologists described their memory experiments Saturday at a meeting of the American Assn. for the Advancement of Science.
In one experiment, Elizabeth Loftus of the University of Washington in Seattle 'asked parents to list some incidents in their adult children's pasts. Then she told the children she wanted to compare their memories with the parents'.
She walked them through a series of real incidents and then threw in a fake one: As a young child, they had been lost in a shopping mall and cried until an elderly person found them and reunited them with their parents.
With a little gentle coaxing, Loftus said, about one-quarter of study subjects agree this happened. Some even go on to provide new details.
In another experiment, volunteers are asked to look over a list of possible childhood events, such as breaking a window with their hand, and rate on a scale of 1 to 8 their certainty of whether they happened.
Two weeks later, they are asked to spend one minute creating mental images of some of the events. After imagining breaking the window, 24% became more certain it had occurred.
Researchers create false memories with greatest of ease
Bugs planted in test subjects' minds
National Post | June 13, 2001
A study in which subjects were led to recall events that never took place suggests false memories can be easily created, according to a prominent U.S. psychologist.
By showing test subjects fake advertisements, Dr. Elizabeth Loftus duped them into believing they had met Bugs Bunny at Disneyland, even though Bugs is a Warner Brothers cartoon character and would never appear at the Disney theme park.
The study at the University of Washington was set up to investigate how people create memories, and the results reveal that the process is fragile and open to suggestion, said Jacquie Pickrell, a partner in the study.
Dr. Loftus and Ms. Pickrell, who is a doctoral student, will present their results on Sunday in Toronto to the American Psychological Association's annual meeting, where Dr. Loftus will receive the William James Fellow award for psychological research.
"The frightening thing about this study is that it suggests how easily a false memory can be created," Ms. Pickrell said.
Dr. Loftus and Ms. Pickrell divided 120 subjects into four groups under the pretense that they were to evaluate advertisements and answer questions about a trip to Disneyland.
The first group saw a Disneyland ad that mentioned no cartoon characters. The second saw the same ad but they sat in a room with a four-foot-tall cardboard figure of Bugs Bunny. The third group read a fake Disneyland ad with Bugs Bunny in it, and the fourth saw the fake ad as well as the cardboard rabbit.
Less than 10% of the first two groups reported having met Bugs Bunny, but 30% of the third group and 40% of the fourth group later reported that they either remembered meeting Bugs Bunny at Disneyland, or simply "knew" that they had.
"'Remember' means the people actually recall meeting and shaking hands with Bugs," Ms. Pickrell said. " 'Knowing' means they have no real memory, but are sure that it happened, just as they have no memory of having their umbilical cord being cut when they were born but know it happened."
The study stands firmly in one camp of the debate over repressed memories and whether they can be trusted once they are retrieved. In the 1990s, memories purportedly recovered in the course of therapy served as the basis for many charges of physical and sexual abuse.
Courts have become reluctant to trust victims' repressed memories of alleged crimes, since their retrieval under hypnosis is often guided by a therapist. Courts in Minnesota, California and New Hampshire have banned uncorroborated repressed memories as evidence.
George Franklin, a California man who spent six years in prison for the 1969 murder of a young girl, was the first person convicted in the United States on the basis of repressed memory evidence. He was freed after it was revealed that his daughter, whose memory of the attack led to his conviction, may have lied about having been hypnotized before the trial.
Dr. Loftus is an outspoken skeptic of recovered memories, and testified as an expert witness at Mr. Franklin's trial. She has written many articles describing "how exposure to misinformation induces memory distortion," and is the author of The Myth of Repressed Memory: False Memories and Allegations of Sexual Abuse.
Her latest study purports to show that recognizing the possibility of a memory, either on one's own or at the urging of a researcher or therapist, can lead to the belief that it is true.
"Someone saying, 'I know it could have happened,' is taking the first step of actually creating a memory," Ms. Pickrell said.
The study shows how "vulnerable and malleable" memory is, Ms. Pickrell said.
"We are interested in how people create their autobiographical references, or memory. Through this process they might be altering their own memories," Ms. Pickrell said. "Nostalgic advertising works in a similar manner. Hallmark, McDonald's and Disney have very effective nostalgic advertising that can change people's buying habits. You may not have had a great experience the last time you visited Disneyland or McDonald's, but the ads may be inadvertently creating the impression that they had a wonderful time and leaving viewers with that memory.
"If ads can get people to believe they had an experience they never had, that is pretty powerful," Ms. Pickrell said.
DAMAGES AWARDED IN FALSE MEMORY CASE
From the Associated Press March 17, 2001 | EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP)
A jury ordered therapists and an insurance company to pay $5 million in damages to the family of a dead woman for making her falsely believe that she had been abused by her relatives. The parents of Nancy Anneatra -- who had accused her parents and brother of physically and sexually abusing her -- sued for damages caused by her accusations and the jury decided Friday that she had been a victim of abuse by the therapists, not her family.
Jurors said Dr. H. Berit Midelfort of Edina, Minn., and Celia Lausted of Colfax, along with Midwest Medical Insurance Co., should pay Delores and Tom Sawyer and their daughter's estate $5.08 million. The Sawyers, of Motley, Minn., cried as the verdict was read. "This is a tragedy that has happened to the Sawyer family, a lot of families," said Madison attorney Bill Smoler, an attorney for the family. Thomas Jacobson, an attorney for Midelfort, and Lausted's attorney, Thomas Misfeldt, did not comment.
The case centered on so-called False Memory Syndrome--described by some as a psychological conditioned counseling in 1984 from Lausted and a psychiatrist not named in the lawsuit. She was in her 20s at the time. After a year of treatment, she accused her parents of physically and sexually abusing her as a child. The Sawyers denied the abuse, but the daughter severed all ties with them and changed her name. In 1987, she was treated by Midelfort, and a year later she sued her parents for civil damages for alleged abuse. The suit was dismissed. She continued receiving therapy until she died in 1995.