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Understanding False Memory Syndrome
Joseph de Rivera Department of Psychology Clark UniversityI want to thank all of the commentators for their thoughtful consideration of my article and for being willing to comment on this deeply troubling and divisive issue. The commentators raise important issues that I address by clustering comments into four major groupings:
1. Questions about the very nature of the phenomenon under investigation: Should we really accept the retractor's accounts as examples of false memory syndrome (FMS) or might they themselves be confabulations; do they reflect false memories or merely false beliefs; how similar are they to false confessions?
2. Critiques of the method that was used, including whether the sample is representative, possible biases inherent in the method, and advantages and limits to the conceptual-encounter methodology.
3. Questions about the nature of the retractors' personalities.
4. Questions about the adequacy of the two models, and suggestions as to other possible models or modifications of the models.
 
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