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102722 Hypnosis Blog

Memory & Pseudomemory

How exactly do your memories work?

  1. Memory is imperfect and malleable rather than reproductive (e.g. like a videotape).
  2. Memory is malleable whether or not enhancement procedures (e.g. hypnosis) are used.
  3. Traumatic memory may be encoded differently than normal memory.
  4. Recall of memories can improve some conditions, and the use of hypnotic techniques may or may not contribute.  (The type of memory influences its recall.)
  5. Pseudomemories can be created under some conditions.  Memory can change by changing your perception, which also affects your recall of the memory.
  6. If not used cautiously, hypnotic procedures can increase false confidence.  Because it happened under hypnosis, people tend to believe them more.
  7. Highly hypnotizable individuals appear more prone to developing pseudomemories, whether or not hypnosis is used. 

In general, courts will not accept recall of events influenced by hypnosis.