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Psychology Astray: Fallacies in Studies of "Repressed Memory" and Childhood Trauma [Paperback]

Harrison G., Jr. Pope
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)


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Book Description

July 1997 0897771494 978-0897771498
Can individuals "repress" the memory of traumatic childhood experiences? Does childhood sexual abuse cause victims to develop psychiatric disorders years later in adulthood? Dr. Harrison Pope examines the evidence for these two hypotheses, and takes a rigorous and incisive look at the studies available. His conclusions are startling-there is presently no satisfactory evidence that people can actually "repress" memories, nor is there adequate evidence that childhood sexual abuse causes adult psychiatric disorders. The fact remains that the "evidence" cited in many of these studies can be more readily explained by more mundane processes, such as early childhood amnesia, ordinary forgetfulness, or elective non-disclosure.

Psychology Astray is written for students and scholars in the fields of psychology, mental health, medical research and law. The flaws in existing studies are exposed and illustrated, using simple and colorful analogies from ordinary life which everyone can understand.


Editorial Reviews

Review

Harrison Pope's Psychology Astray is a "model of clear thinking and clear exposition. It outlines the pitfalls of epidemiology such as confounding causes: post hoc does not mean propter hoc-two correlated events may have a common cause, such as genetic factors.

To clarify his argument, he analyzes widely held but mistaken popular and medical myths: for example, that salt is bad for you, that power lines damage the body, and that schizophrenia is caused by bad upbringing. Pope's careful analysis of possible sources of error should be useful to intending epidemiologists, and regrettably some practising ones, and to other disciplines within the social sciences -- Stuart Sutherland, Nature, July 17, 1997


Product Details

  • Paperback: 129 pages
  • Publisher: Upton Books (July 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0897771494
  • ISBN-13: 978-0897771498
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,822,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Repressed memory syndrome, undressed July 4, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Pope has made a significant entry into the rational interpretation of the "unconsious" mechanism of hidden or repressed memory. As a behaviorist I found myself agreeing with his hypotheses and conclusions and discovered some clarity in my own thinking at the same time. I find his writing style to be clear, clever, and concise. I have chosen to place this book on my desk for all to see.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful. informative and a quick read November 9, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
ideal for intro psychology students and also just to look at methodology of many studies we take for granted. focus on repressed memories is interesting considering it is such a hot topic, though you do not necessarliy need to be reading for this subject to apprecaite and enjoy this book
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful. informative and a quick read November 9, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
ideal for intro psychology students and also just to look at methodology of many studies we take for granted. focus on repressed memories is interesting considering it is such a hot topic, though you do not necessarliy need to be reading for this subject to apprecaite and enjoy this book
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2 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Psycholog Astray August 28, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Psychology Astray is a pretty good book, although the author does make some presumptions known to be wrong himself. Pope uses--homosexuality can not be changed by psycotherapy--as an example of the misinformation taught for years in his chosen field. 1000 page books have been published that maintain that it can be and is. Something about barometric preassure doesn't cause bone discomfort where a major bone is conected different than usual with another one is in there too which is wrong. He delves into what they know about schizophrenia, without mentioning that it is the most misdiagnosed mental disorder there is. (Social workers often are the ones who decide who is schizophrenic in mental institutions). The field of psychology has a lot of problems, it really does. It would be easy to prove that the rouphly 100 year old area of study is responsible for far more harm than good that it's done. Labotomys. Wrongly detained individuals. Prescriptions for addictive drugs for the wrong symptoms. Pope points out that what qualifies experts as such is often miscalculated credentials. Like cops, part of the problem is the egotisticalness of the majority of students who choose the field, the "it takes a village to raise a child" crowd in abstract. They know what's best for you because they learned the later discredited stuff in school of predesesors who did the same. Most of them want everyone to be the same and feel that other people who are they're own people should not have the right to be or even act paranoid. Dr. Pope does a pretty good job of exposing the lack of evidence about one particular subject that gets reported on the news as fact by producers who did take the same classes and were taught by the same professors who learned the same or similar mis-information. x
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