OF REDLANDS, CALIFORNIA  - Founded 24 January 1895

4:00 P.M.

March 16, 2000

Memories: True or False

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by Durand F. Jacobs Ph.D.

Assembly Room, A. K. Smiley Public Library

Biography of Durand F. Jacobs Ph.D.

·Diplomate in Clinical Psychology, American Board of Professional Psychology

·Chief, Psychology Service, Jerry L. Pettis Memorial veterans Hospital, Loma Linda, Calif. 1977-1990

·Professor of Psychiatry, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, Calif.

·Clinical Professor, Fuller Graduate School of Psychology, Pasadena, Calif.

·President, California State Psychological Association, 1989

·Vice-President, National Council on Problem Gambling, 1995

·Charter member California Council on Compulsive Gambling; contributing editor to the Journal of Gambling Behavior.

·Dr. Jacobs has been involved in treatment, training of professionals, and research on addictive behaviors over the past thirty years. He was instrumental in establishing the first inpatient treatment program for compulsive gamblers in 1972.

He has reported his research on compulsive gambling and means for identifying and intervening high risk youth at national and international conferences and in a number of journals and books.

His work describing gambling among teenagers and the special vulnerability of children of parents who gamble excessively appeared as two chapters in Compulsive Gambling: Theory. Research and Practice (Lexington Press), edited by Howard Shaffer et al. This book is based on presentations made at the First Invitational Symposium on Compulsive Gambling, held June 3-4, 1988 at the Center for Addictive Studies, Harvard University Medical School ·Dr. Jacobs is a recipient of the Herman Goldman Foundation Award:

"In recognition of your dedication, support, and continuing research efforts highlighting the consequences of compulsive gambling on families and youth. "

·Recipient of award from Harvard University, Division of Addictions ( April 7, 1995) "For lifelong contributions to Youth Gambling"

Memories: True Or False

Are you really getting the “straight story”?  Is it  complete, unabridged, just as it actually was,  when you hear (or when you, yourself profess) a recollection of a past event?  Does the story remain the same year after year?  Does it change after a little probing for details?  Does it remain the same, no matter who it’s told to?  Does another eye-witness to the same event tell the same story? 

Perhaps we can settle for an endorsement that most stories we hear and tell are “as true as true can be”.  And they are . . . given the circumstances that prevailed within us and around us at the time we perceived the original happening, and given the circumstances within us and around us when, later, we recount the story of what happened.

Were we able to compare a snapshot or videotape of a past event  with the images captured by our subjective eye, it would reveal that we react to only a limited part of the total context.  Our focused attention on one object or activity results in an inattention to other things that co-existed at that time.  Consequently the latter things tend to be partially or completely “blurred out” of the memory encoding of the event.

For example, regular and problem gamblers when asked to recall the results of their gambling experiences during the past year overwhelming will report - often at length and in great detail - their winning times with little reference to their losing times during the same year.  Next in frequency among these gamblers are those who will say, “Oh, I’ve come out about even”.

Either of these sets of recollections fly in the face of probabilities that prevail in the gambling world where Lady Luck does not rule.  Odds of winning are deliberately and invariably shifted to favor “the house”, leaving to the gambler the higher odds of losing.  Over time close independent accounting will reveal that the great majority of those playing against “the house” will lose more than their accumulated winnings.  So much for economics.

That being the case, how to explain all those gamblers reporting far more memories of winning than losing?  Are they all liars?  Not so.  Those who lie deliberately to avoid some negative consequences constitute a small minority.  The overwhelming community of gamblers  truly believe they are telling the truth about the outcomes of their past gambling experiences.  Else, why would they continue  to pursue further gambling activities?

When pressed, some will plumb their previous recollections and admit, “Oh yes, now that you mention it, I do remember some losing times.”  Then they will counter quickly with, “Sure I lose sometimes, but each time my losses were within the budget I had set for gambling.  And besides, I enjoy gambling, and I count losses as the price I pay for my entertainment.”

This rationale, plus the expectation of really having a big win someday, keeps gamblers happily returning to their favorite games month after month and year after year - to the even greater enjoyment of the gambling industry.

Are the somewhat distorted memories of ordinary regular gamblers much different from the stories told by ordinary devoted fisherman about the outcomes of their past pursuits and their hopes of landing a whopper next time out?  Aren’t  we all heir to inadvertently editing our initial perceptions of an event, or series of events, leaving subsequent memories captive to that particular “spin” on what we believed happened?

Recently two psychologists at Washington University in St. Louis published a paper titled, “Creating false memories.”  Their research confirmed that:

“In watching a news program on TV, or reading a book, or listening to a friend’s comments, we do not register the events literally as they happen, but interpret them through our own organizational schemes. 

We carry our own perceptions, thoughts, and reactions into the mix.

Therefore, the version of the event that is encoded and later remembered involves our personal reaction as part and parcel of the transaction.

We have no literal tape or video-recording of the events of our past,  but rather we retain a recording of the events as filtered through the lens of our own perspectives and biases.”

Moreover, as an inseparable part of the process of perception, we superimpose inferences on our every interaction with the world.  These inferences are largely automatic, and go beyond what is actually seen, done or heard during a previous event.  Therefore, we  later remember something we believe was actually said or done during the previous encounter, when it was only inferred.  Thus, these later remembered “facts” are in fact false memories about lesser or greater components of that prior experience.

Recall that the title of this paper is “Memories: True or False”.  I must now confess that such a polarity in the pure and absolute sense simply cannot exist.

This leaves us with memories that are mostly true, or somewhat true, or kind of true renditions of past events.  And among the recollections of past events in our lives are honest-to-goodness false memories.  These are reported memories of things or events that in objective reality never existed or happened, but which the individual insists did occur, and will swear to that effect in a court of law.  We all are aware of examples of this sort from conflicting reports of eyewitnesses recounting their memories - even short term memories - of a sudden unexpected event: an accident, a purse snatching, a drive-by shooting.

Memories, whether mostly true or false, tend to become further modified with the increased passage of time, or because of the emotional involvement of the person when the event occurred.  Or simply whether the person recalling events that happened during an early life epoch is a younger or an older person.              Mark Twain said it well:

“When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it happened or not; but my facilities are decaying now, and soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but  the things that never happened.  It is sad to go to pieces like this, but we all have to do it”.

Research confirms that with age we do not remember as well what did happen to us, but remember more readily events that did not occur.

I have long been a student of how we perceive the events in our lives, and what we later recall, and what we choose to report to others about our memories.  As a clinical psychologist I have, worked with many patients in crisis counseling and in psychotherapy who have experienced one or another kind of recent or long past trauma, and are now struggling to deal with their convoluted memories of these events, so that they can move forward with their lives.

Half a century ago my interest in this area of human experience, piqued by the then continuous arguments between psychoanalytic and learning theorists about the phenomena of memory and forgetting, led me to conduct my doctoral research on this topic.  It continues to interest me that the questions about what constitutes true or false memories, first explored in laboratories by my predecessors over a hundred years ago, are very much with us today.  Not only in continuing experiments in psychological and neurophysical laboratories and in psychotherapy rooms, but also in criminal justice interrogation rooms, and in courtroom testimony of adults and children about their allegations of early childhood abuse by caregivers.

In all the above settings the shared concern is that what actually happened during  a past event does not necessarily produce an unedited statement of recall for an interested listener.  In such settings recall always is suspect; not by veracity alone, but because even the most candid remembering is sifted through a fabric of original and subsequent inferences, and is further influenced by one’s anticipations of social acceptance or rejection, self-incrimination or self-enhancement, potential financial gain or loss, etc.  Moreover, all memories, including false memories, remain highly susceptible to modification through suggestion by others, particularly by authority figures such as police and mental health professionals.

Case Study #1

When patients present to psychotherapists with complaints of debilitating panic attacks, addictions and other personality problems, the question of past contributing traumas often arises.  Allegations by an adult patient about early childhood neglect or abuse, including sexual abuse, by a family member or caregiver are not unusual, and with very few exceptions are dealt with appropriately and successfully during the course of therapy.  However, on rare occasions an egregious example of unprofessional management of a patient professing such memories does hit the courts and the papers.  In the case study that follows the argument between the opposing lawyers hinged on whether the patient’s memories of her past behaviors were true or false, or suggested by her psychotherapists.  I’ll quote portions of an article titled, “Indictment fuels repressed-memory debate,” that appeared in the Feb. 1998 issue of the APA Monitor, a publication of the American Psychological Association.

“Between 1986 and 1992, while undergoing treatment at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago, Patricia Burgess claims she was convinced by her psychotherapists that she had recovered memories of participating in a cannibalistic satanic cult, being sexually abused and abusing her own sons.  As a result of these purportedly recovered memories, Burgus’ sons, age 4 and 5, were also hospitalized.

Eventually Burgus, whose treatment included two and a half years of inpatient care and cost her insurance company nearly $3 million, concluded that her supposedly “recovered” memories  were  false.  She   then   brought   a  lawsuit   against  the  hospital  and the mental health   professionals   who  treated  her.   On  Nov. 6, 1997,  while  the  defendants  admitted  no wrongdoing,  continued to  defend  their  treatment  and  strongly   opposed  any  settlement, their malpractice insurance carriers agreed to pay Burgus $10.6 million in damages.”  (Charles P. Ewig, J. D., Ph.. D.)

Case Study #2

The Burgus settlement came just a week after the most recent, unprecedented development in a similar case.  In 1991, Lynn Carl sought admission to Spring Shadows Glen Hospital, a private psychiatric facility in Houston.  What was to have been a two-week evaluation turned into 22 months of inpatient treatment costing an estimated $1.1 million.  During treatment on the hospital’s dissociative disorders unit, Carl became convinced that she had 500 different personalities; had been raised in a multigenerational, homicidal, cannibalistic and satanic cult; had abused her children; and had tried to poison her husband.

As a result of Carl’s purportedly recovered memories, she and her husband divorced, and her children, then 13 and 14, were also admitted to Spring Shadows Glen Hospital.  While hospitalized, the children also came to believe that they had been involved in the same cult.  Carl’s 14-year old son reportedly recalled being programmed by cult members to die at the age of 16.  Her daughter supposedly believed that she had been used as a “breeder” for the cult.  Both children also came to believe that they had been victims of incest.  Carl sued the hospital and a number of mental health professionals involved in her treatment, claiming that the therapy she received had implanted false memories.  While other defendants settled out of court, the psychiatrist who treated Carl went to trial denying any wrongdoing and alleging that Carl was suffering from multiple personality disorder, had been abused and had abused her children.

Indictment follows judgment

In August 1997, a federal jury awarded Carl $5.9 million in actual damages resulting from the defendants’ failure to obtain informed consent or to disclose that the memories reportedly recovered through hypnosis and psychotherapy might not be reliable.  Despite this large award, the legal woes facing the defendants in this case did not stop with a mere money judgment.  On Oct. 29, 1997, a federal grand jury in Houston indicted one of the hospital’s administrators, two psychiatrist, a psychologist and a psychotherapist on charges that they fraudulently collected millions of dollars in insurance payments by convincing seven patients that they suffered from multiple personality disorder as a result of their involvement in abusive cults.  Each of the 60 counts in the indictment (one alleging criminal conspiracy and 59 claiming fraud) carries a possible prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of $250,000.

Although many patients have filed lawsuits throughout the United States alleging that therapists have implanted false memories of sexual abuse, the indictment in this case appears to be the first to allege criminal wrongdoing in connection with recovered memories.


Critics of the indictment, including the International Society of the Study of Dissociation, expressed concern about the federal government using criminal law to set standards for diagnosis and treatment and predicted that the prosecution may have a chilling effect on the practice of psychotherapy.

While the reliability of memories of abuse reportedly recovered through hypnosis and other forms of psychotherapy remain controversial -- and that controversy has been further fueled by this first criminal indictment -- the specter of government prosecutors dictating professional standards in psychotherapy appears greatly exaggerated.  It must be noted that the defendants in this criminal matter have not been charged with providing improper mental health care, but rather with deliberately defrauding insurance companies.  Interestingly -- some might say sadly -- any damage done to their patients has been or will be addressed only in civil lawsuits; in the eyes of the law, the only alleged crime victims here were the patients’ insurance companies.  (Charles P. Ewig, J.D., Ph.D.)

Cast Study #3

The general consensus among mental health professionals is that the vast majority of tens of thousands of child sexual abuse accusations each year are true.  Most children display the  capacity to produce accurate memories.  However, under certain conditions, if they are pushed and probed by investigators in ill-advised manners, they may be led to say things that are false.  And preschoolers three to four years of age tend to be more easily influenced by suggestive interviewing than are older children.

In June 1998 a Massachusetts Superior Court Judge threw out the prior  conviction of a day school teacher accused of sexually abusing her charges, because he had evidence that the children’s’ damning testimony had been unduly influenced by the prosecution team.  In his order he stated:

“Overzealous and inadequately trained investigators, perhaps unaware of the grave    dangers of using improper interviewing and investigative techniques, questioned these    children and their parents in a climate of panic, if not hysteria, creating a highly prejudicial and irreparable set of mistakes,” the judge wrote.  “These grave errors led to the testimony of the children being forever tainted.”

One might think that all this fuss about the hazards of forcing recall of “repressed” anxiety - provoking materials, including the production of false memories, was something that first saw the light of day in the late 1980's and 1990's.  Not so.

As I mentioned in passing earlier in this paper, my 1953 doctoral dissertation may have anticipated and even offered some partial answers to the “repressed memories” debate still raging today.  The title of my dissertation was “Memory for anxiety-provoking words as measured in a forced recall situation: A comparative study of a normal and a neurotic group.”

I’ll tell you at the outset that, as a feisty graduate student, I was trodding on the toes of the then “Mental Health Establishment” by having the temerity to design a study that challenged the then sacrosanct “repression hypothesis.”  But I’m getting ahead of my story.

Let me begin by introducing you to the then existing theoretical and experimental background that provided the springboard for my clinical investigation of factors affecting recall of an experimentally induced anxiety-provoking experience. 

[Excerpts from Dissertation]


Early workers in psychology first considered forgetting to be a function of the amount of time that had passed, the assumption being that the memory traces of the brain wear away with the passage of time.  The need for amplifying and amending this concept soon became evident.  How, for instance, did it happen that of two events perceived at the same moment, one would be remembered and other forgotten?  The apparent answer was that one of the events made a stronger impression.  Subsequent investigations of the effects of primacy, intensity, novelty and frequency of stimulation threw further light on factors influencing strength of impression.  However, the recognition of these variables did not entirely answer the objections raised against the forgetting-through-time theory.  The work of Barlett showed that there was no one curve of forgetting.  There were instead as many curves as there were conditions which determined rate and content of forgetting.  The search for additional determining conditions for forgetting led workers to turn their attention to factors such as the needs of the individual, his interest, past experience and motivation at the time of learning and of recall.  Increasingly, it was felt that forgetting was anything but simple, that the “passage of time” was secondary, and that the primary factors were the needs of the individual and his attempts to satisfy them.

The next contribution made by laboratory and clinical workers concerned the fact that forgetting was never complete.  “Forgotten” material often was either spontaneously recalled, or could be made available to the individual by the application of certain techniques.  Most psychologists agreed that “forgotten” material was located somewhere in the nervous system, and devised hypothetical constructs such as neural schemata, engrams, neurograms, and traces to fill the gaps in immediate observation.

Consideration of motivational factors in recall and the potential reversibility of forgetting led to hypothesis about processes which kept the “forgotten” unavailable.  Principal among these was the “repression hypothesis” which stressed certain motivational aspects of forgetting, and postulated a complicated theoretical system of forces acting to initiate, maintain and disrupt the process of repression.  Repression is defined as the act of thrusting back from consciousness into the unconscious sphere ideas or perceptions of a disagreeable or psychologically threatening nature.

The Question of Repression vs. Suppression.  Laboratory experiments have largely ignored the possibility that factors other than repression may explain why a subject withheld certain material from recall.  The most obvious alternative explanation of results is that the individual has suppressed, rather than repressed, certain unrecalled material.

It is generally assumed that in a laboratory situation the subject will respond in a motivated and appropriate manner to test instructions.  This expectation is based on the individual’s cultural conditioning which leads him to obey authority figures (i.e. the examiner), and “to put his best foot forward” in the presence of his superiors (again represented by the examiner).  The latter factor generally serves to enhance an individual’s performance in the ordinary test situation.  However, it may also play an inhibiting role if compliance with the examiner’s instruction leads the subject to violate the social pretense he wishes to maintain.  In a repression experiment the subject is often called upon to verbalize “taboo” material, or recall experiences in which he had appeared in an uncomplimentary light.  In this situation the subject may compromise his inclination to recall all he can by suppressing those items which he feels might incur the displeasure or ridicule of the examiner.  The degree to which this is done would ultimately depend on the subjects assessment of the relative benefits to be gained by recalling or suppressing recall for certain material at the time of testing.  The amount of material suppressed by a subject also may be altered by the kind of  threat to recall present in a situation, and the amount of pressure to recall brought to bear by the examiner.

This interplay of factors fostering and inhibiting recall is readily recognized and substantiated by those with therapeutic experience.  Alexander notes that there are two important processes available to the individual for withholding objectionable material from the therapist.  One is repression; the other is a “conscious and voluntary process called suppression”.  Alexander explains how the patient’s need for help and the therapist’s accepting attitude reduce emotional resistance to verbalize suppressed material, and also how the technique of free association tends to thwart suppression of recall.  As a function of the therapeutic procedure, “the patient gradually learns to overcome his natural reluctance to abandon his conventional facade and become entirely frank”.

Haigh’s study of “Defensive Behavior in Client-Centered Therapy” demonstrated that individuals will consciously withhold certain material if it tends to be incongruous with a particular concept or experience highly valued by them.  This was termed “defensive behavior” which included his clients’ attempts to distort, deny, evade, or rationalize their awareness of a given state of affairs.  It was shown that the accepting attitude of the therapist, and the clients’ need to work out inconsistent feelings, tended to reduce the effectiveness and increase the admission of defensive behavior.  Haigh concluded is necessary to recognize that difference between material of which the individual is aware but which he does not communicate, and material of which he is not aware but nevertheless influences his behavior.  It would seem that this factor (the former) must be separated out before any defensiveness encountered need be attributed to the operation of unconscious factors”.

Even the recognition of factors such as suppression has done little to clarify the experimental question of what is repressed and what is not.  This is true in spite of the clear theoretical dichotomy existing between repression and suppression.  Theoretically, the basis for differentiation is that repression is an unconscious, and suppression is a conscious process.  Unconscious processes, including repression, follow three propositions:

(a)            they are removed from consciousness;

(b)            they can only be made available to consciousness by special techniques such as psychoanalysis or hypnosis; and

(c)            they are not under voluntary control.

Suppression, on the other hand, is a conscious process, easily reversible (i.e. suppressed material is provisionally, if not readily, available for verbalization), and under voluntary control.

To the observer, however, the processes of repression and suppression are the same: both prevent the verbalization of certain material.  The laboratory worker, unlike the therapist, seldom goes beyond the recall data given at the time of inquiry.  When experimental results reveal that certain material is not verbalized, it has been largely a matter of conjecture whether repression or suppression best explain the findings.

Limitations of the Experimental Criterion for Repression.  In traditional psychophysical experiments the difference between consciousness and unconsciousness was determined by asking the subject whether or not he was aware of a certain stimulus.  If he response in the affirmative, he was conscious of it; if not, he was unconscious of it.  With only minor modifications this same criteria has become standard in studies of recall.  One simply asks the subject to recall previously learned material.  Response is the criterion for consciousness; absence of response is the criterion for unconsciousness.  However, this criterion may attribute much to unconsciousness which in fact is wholly conscious.

One alternative solution occurred to me (then as a graduate student in early 1950's).  If one cannot differentiate between repression or suppression of recall in the laboratory, can one devise a method that would support the assumption that repression is not a tenable explanation for obtained results?  This would not solve all the problems, but it would lessen the margin of error.

According to psychoanalytical theory, repressed memories are not consciously available to the individual; only special techniques (i.e. therapy or hypnosis) which serve to reduce ego threats to recall can release repressed content.  Therefore, no amount of direct encouragement or forcing could be expected to secure repressed material.

One method for testing whether previously unrecalled “anxiety-provoking” material was, or was not, repressed would be to place the subject under additional pressure to recall.  If, as a result, more memories for “anxiety-provoking” material are produced, a previous assumption of repression would become untenable.

The importance of motivation in a recall situation is noted by McGeoch:

“What is recalled both immediately and after an interval is a function of the motivation of the subject, whether at the  time of original learning or at the time of recall or at both, and of the influence of his existent organization of learned material.  It is, thus, not the immediate material alone which   determines recall, but it’s interaction with motivation and the retained residue of prior learning”.

Therefore, I contended: after equal practice on given word lists, including equal numbers of neutral and anxiety-provoking words, subjects tested under Forced Conditions will be expected to recall more words from both lists than those tested under Spontaneous Conditions.  However, Dembo’s results show that placing a subject under pressure to perform leads him to produce responses inapplicable to the task at hand.  Consequently, I contended:  in a recall situation one  also would expect more unrelated (i.e. extra-list) words to be produced under Forced than under Spontaneous Conditions.

Much previous experimentation has shown that anxiety-provoking material is not recalled spontaneously.  A question often raised is that this content may be suppressed because of the subject’s embarrassment to report socially-unacceptable material to the examiner.

Investigations by Alexander and Haigh have demonstrated that patients in therapy do suppress what they feel to be objectionable. These workers found that with additional encouragement or insistence by the therapist, patients often revealed previously withheld material.  Therefore, I anticipated that subjects tested under Forced Conditions will recall more anxiety-provoking words than those tested under Spontaneous Conditions.

Summary Statement of the Problem.            Criticisms of experiments dealing with memory for anxiety-provoking material have held that the experimental criterion for repression may be inadequate because subjects do not report all they are capable of remembering in a recall situation.  Studies in therapy have tended to support the contention that socially-unacceptable material is often consciously withheld from report.   Certain methods for encouraging the release of suppressed material have been used in therapy.  However, there is disagreement regarding the validity of recollections secured by forcing procedures, particularly in psychoanalysis.

In summary, my investigation  attempted to demonstrate that by inducing greater motivation to recall one can secure more recollections of previously-learned material.  It was expected that subjects will be led to report more anxious-provoking materials under Forced than under the traditional Spontaneous Recall Conditions.  It also was  anticipated that placing individuals under pressure to recall will result in their making more errors in recall (i.e. “false memories”) than will persons not subjected to such conditions.

The literature on the effects of extreme anxiety on learning suggests that neurotic subjects will be less able to retain previously-learned materials than will normals of comparable age and intelligence.  Other workers have noted that lesser ability to suppress anxiety-provoking material is the greater proneness to disorganization characteristics of neurotic individuals.  This suggests, then, that neurotic will produce proportionately more anxiety-provoking and more  unrelated material than will normals in a recall situation.


The problem of testing these assumptions will be approached by the use of work lists consisting of equal numbers of “anxiety-provoking” and “neutral” items which the subjects will learn prior to the recall task.  In this manner a control of the content of recalled materials is established, since the analysis will be based on the number of words recalled from the lists under Forced and Spontaneous Conditions.  A further measure of the validity of recalled material is provided by the number of unrelated (i.e. extra-list) words (i.e. “false memories”) produced under the two recall conditions.

Spontaneous Conditions approximately the usual method of asking the subject to write down as much of a given past event as he could remember.  The instructions for this condition were as follows: “Write down as many of the words, that I gave you, which you can remember.”  No additional comments were made by the examiner.  The subject was free to work on his own during a five minute period, and was allowed to stop any time he indicated that he was finished.  Note was made of the time each subject spent in recall.

Forced Conditions involved a constant pressure on the subject to produce as much recall as he possible could.  Under these conditions the examiner took an active encouraging-coercing role.  Initial instructions for this condition were:

“You have 5 minutes to write down as many of the words, that I gave you, which you can remember.  Try to remember as many words as you possible can.”

At the end of the third minute of recall the subject was told “Keep trying.”  You still have two minutes to go. If you are not sure, guess.  But try to remember as many words as you possibly can.”At the end of the forth minute of recall the subject was again told:

“Keep trying.  You still have another minute to go.  Try to remember as many words as you possibly can.”


It was hypothesized that groups tested under Forced Conditions would: (a) recall more list words and produce more total responses; (b) recall more anxiety-provoking words from the lists; and (c)  produce more extra-list words, than comparable groups tested under Spontaneous Conditions.  The results supported these hypotheses to a statistically significant degree.

A comparison of normal and neurotic performance supported the hypotheses that normal groups would show greater total recall for list words than neurotic groups under both experimental conditions.  The final hypotheses were that neurotic groups would recall proportionately more anxiety-provoking words, and produce proportionately more extra-list words (i.e. “false memories”) than normal groups under both the Spontaneous and Forced Conditions.  Although in the predicted direction, the results of these comparisons were not statistically significant.

Implications regarding the use of forcing procedures in therapy, the experimental criterion for repression, the effects of pervasive anxiety on learning and recall, and the limitations of the Spontaneous method of measuring learning were discussed.  It was suggested that the forced techniques used this experiment may be fruitful in further empirical investigations of the effects of motivation on recall.

[End of excerpts from Dissertation]

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